Gospel Reflection – Thursday, March 14, 2024 – John 5,31-47 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Exodus 32:7-14)

Reading from the Book of Exodus.

In those days, the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely. They have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them. They have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, saying, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!'”

The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.” But Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people.

Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.'” And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

— The Word of the Lord.

— Thanks be to God.

Gospel (John 5:31-47)

— PROCLAMATION of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, Jesus said to the Jews, “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true.

You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.

But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.

You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept glory from human beings. But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him.

How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”

— The Gospel of the Lord.

— Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Reflecting the Word of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Peace and grace be with you on this blessed day. Let me start with a question: how often do we feel lost, anxious and disoriented amidst the turmoil of everyday life? How often do we seek answers to our deepest questions, yearning for guidance that will bring peace to our hearts? In a world full of uncertainty, it’s easy to feel like sheep without a shepherd.

Today, the biblical passages presented to us reveal a message of love, direction and hope. In the first reading, we find the story of the people of Israel in the desert, after their liberation from Egypt. They felt lost and desperate, not knowing where to go or what to do. In this moment of weakness, they succumbed to the temptation of worshiping a golden calf, seeking security and meaning in something created by human hands.

The story of the golden calf may seem far from our reality, but how often do we also turn to modern idols for meaning and security? We may find comfort in our material possessions, professional success, or personal relationships, but these things are fleeting and unsatisfying. True meaning and security can only be found in God.

Just as Moses interceded for the people of Israel, imploring divine mercy and remembering the Lord’s promises, we too are called to turn to God in times of difficulty. He calls us to recognize our weakness and depend on Him in all circumstances. He invites us to trust in his infinite wisdom and love, knowing that he has the best plan for our lives.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus talks about the testimony he receives from the Father and how this testimony points to the truth of his mission. He reminds us that we should not seek our own glory, but the glory of Him who sent us. Jesus is our true shepherd, the one who guides and protects us amid life’s adversities.

Jesus talks about how the Scriptures testify to him, how they reveal his identity and mission. He encourages us to search the Scriptures, for in them we find life and hope. The Scriptures reveal to us God’s redemptive plan, his grace and mercy that are available to us all. They show us how Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

But it is not enough to just read the Scriptures; We must also put into practice what we have learned. Jesus reminds us that faith without works is dead. We need to allow spiritual truths to be tangible and applicable in our everyday lives. We must love our neighbors, forgive those who offend us, and seek justice and peace in our personal relationships and in society as a whole.

Dear brothers and sisters, the message of these biblical passages is clear: no matter how lost or desperate we feel, God is with us. He is our loving shepherd, ready to guide us and care for us. He calls us to seek His will and trust His plan, even when everything seems uncertain.

Today, I invite each of you to reflect on your own life. Where have you been looking for meaning, security and direction? What are the modern idols that have taken God’s place in their hearts? And most of all, how are you applying the truths of Scripture in your daily lives?

Remember that God is always ready to welcome us with open arms, no matter how many times we have strayed from the path. He is a God of mercy and grace, ready to forgive us and restore us. May we respond to this love with gratitude and action, seeking to live according to the teachings of Scripture.

Dear brothers and sisters, as I conclude this homily, I want to encourage you to embrace the message of love, direction, and hope found in the biblical passages we reflect on today. May we remember that God is our loving shepherd, ready to guide and care for us. May we trust His plan for our lives and seek His will in all circumstances.

May spiritual truths become tangible in our everyday lives as we love and forgive, seek justice and peace, and strive to live according to the teachings of Scripture. May we find meaning and security in God rather than turning to fleeting idols. And may we share the hope we find in Christ with those around us.

May divine grace, love and hope be poured out upon each of you. May you be strengthened in your journey of faith and may the message of this homily resonate in your hearts. May you be inspired to live according to the principles of the Scriptures, seeking the face of God in all things.

May the Lord be with you at all times and may his presence be a light that guides your steps. May you find peace amidst the storms of life and hope amidst the uncertainty. And may we come together again, strengthened in our faith and ready to share God’s love with the world.

So be it.