Thursday 23 March 2023 – Bear witness!

4th Week of Lent

1st Reading: Ex 32:7-14

The Lord said to Moses, “Go down at once to your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved. They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, ‘This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt! ‘The Lord said to Moses, “I see how stiff-necked this people is. Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them. Then I will make of you a great nation.” But Moses implored the Lord, his God, saying, “Why, O Lord, should your wrath blaze up against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with so strong a hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent he brought them out, that he might kill them in the mountains and exterminate them from the face of the earth’? Let your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and how you swore to them by your own self, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky; and all this land that I promised, I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.’ So the Lord relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people.

Gospel Jn 5:31-47

Jesus said to the Jews: “If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true. But there is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.  You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. I do not accept human testimony, but I say this so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf. But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form, and you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life.  “I do not accept human praise; moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope.  For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

Bear witness! Jesus argues his case as sent by the Father. His principal testimony is the works that he performs which testify that the Father has sent him. He first reminds them that they sent emissaries to John who testified to the truth that Jesus is the Messiah. He says that John was a burning and shining lamp. A lamp does not light itself but is lit. So true, John came and bore testimony to Jesus the Messiah, and decreased for Jesus to increase. Like in John and in Jesus, Christian life is demonstrated in works and in witness. This is real truth. As Christians we have to “do” the truth, and live the truth of the Christian faith. Only then can those who see us witness the glory of God our Father. Let us ensure that we live what we preach.

PRAYER: Lord, help us give a consistent testimony of the Gospel we preach with our very lives. Amen!


LET US WITNESS CHRIST: The Old Testament portrays a people that are stiff-necked and adamant. They need to follow God’s commandments, they need to trust in the God  who has saved them all this time. However, that is not what they do. They quickly desire to turn against what they vowed to do. God is angry, but Moses implores on their behalf. We are called to be Christians. Through the readings we are able to see the power of Jesus the Son of God. We are able to listen to his commands and promises to us. His ways seek to better the world. They therefore confront the day to day operations in the world. We are to stand up as light shining on the rest of humanity. Despite this, our pride, our sinfulness and even our weaknesses hinder us from seeing God. Let us testify that we are Christians by not only believing in Jesus but doing as per the dictates of the word.