Thursday, April 2, 2009

Daily - 4/2/09

John 10:31-42 (Friday's gospel)

31 The Jews again picked up rocks to stone him.

32 Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?"

33 The Jews answered him, "We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God."

34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, "You are gods"'?

35 If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came, and scripture cannot be set aside,

36 can you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemes because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?

37 If I do not perform my Father's works, do not believe me;

38 but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize (and understand) that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."

39 (Then) they tried again to arrest him; but he escaped from their power.

40 He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained.

41 Many came to him and said, "John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true."

42 And many there began to believe in him.

Today we move from the end of John 8 to the middle of John 10, moving ahead a couple of months. I highly recommend reading John 9 and the first half of 10 to fill in the gaps in the story. As today's reading begins, we've got guys picking up rocks again. If we back up a few verses we can see why.

22 The feast of the Dedication was then taking place in Jerusalem. It was winter.

23 And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.

24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly."

25 Jesus answered them, "I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name testify to me.

26 But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.

27 My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand.

29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father's hand.

30 The Father and I are one."

Christ is asked point blank if he is the Messiah. His answer is consistent with what we say in John 8 -- his actions have told them the answer. Christ has healed the blind, healed the sick, and raised the dead (he's already done it once in John, and we haven't gotten to Lazarus yet). These were all Old Testament prophecies of the works of the Messiah.

Christ told them by his actions and his divine teaching. He didn't ask them to take his word for it -- he SHOWED them. By his fruit, he is known.

Lent is a time for us to examine ourselves in this way, and return to the Redeemer. By OUR fruits we are known. One way to monitor your own daily walk is to look at your fruits. If they aren't the fruits of the spirit -- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) -- something might be off-kilter.

What do we do then? Back to the basics -- prayer, Reconciliation, and the Eucharist