Gospel Reflection – Wednesday, March 13, 2024 – John 5:17-30 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Is 49,8-15)

Reading the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.

This says the Lord: “I answer your requests with favors and help you in the work of salvation; I preserved you to be a link of covenant between the peoples, to restore the land, to distribute the scattered inheritance; to say to those in prison, ‘Come out!’ and to those in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ And everyone feeds on the roads and even on the barren hills they get their supplies; They do not feel hunger or thirst, neither the heat nor the sun punishes them, because their protector takes care of them and leads them to water sources.

I will make every mountain a highway and my paths will be level. Behold, they are coming from afar, some from the north and from the sea, and others from the land of Sinim.”

Praise, O heavens, rejoice, earth; mountains, make praise resound, for the Lord comforts his people and has compassion on the poor. Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me!” Can a woman forget her little child to the point that she does not feel sorry for the fruit of her womb? If she forgets, I, however, will not forget you.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (John 5,17-30)

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

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, Jesus answered the Jews: “My Father always works, therefore I also work”. Then, the Jews sought even more to kill him, because, in addition to violating the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thus making himself equal to God.

Taking the floor, Jesus said to the Jews: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he only does what he sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son also does. The Father loves the Son and shows him everything he does. And he will show you even greater works, so that you will be amazed.

Just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, the Son also gives life to whomever he wants. In fact, the Father does not judge anyone, but he gave the Son the power to judge, so that everyone may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son, also does not honor the Father who sent him.

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life. He will not be condemned, for he has already passed from death to life. 25Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and has now come, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

For just as the Father possesses life in himself, so he granted the Son to possess life in himself. Furthermore, he gave him the power to judge, for he is the Son of Man. Do not be surprised at this, because the time will come when all who are in the tombs will hear the voice of the Son and will come out: those who have done good will rise to life; and those who have done evil, to condemnation.

I can’t do anything for myself. I judge according to what I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, I would like to begin our reflection with a question: Who here has ever felt lost amidst the chaos of life? Who has experienced the sensation of walking through a desert, with no hope of finding an oasis? I am sure that each of us has gone through moments like these, when our strength seems to falter and our hearts are filled with uncertainties. But the good news is that, even amidst our weaknesses, God is always present, ready to guide and sustain us. And it is precisely about this divine presence in our lives that I would like to reflect today, in the light of the biblical passages that have been proposed to us.

In the first reading, from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 49:8-15), we are invited to contemplate God’s faithfulness to His people. The prophet assures us that, even when we feel abandoned and forsaken, God never forgets us. He says to us: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” (Isaiah 49:15). These words reveal God’s unconditional love, a love that is deeper and more enduring than any human love. It is a love that encompasses us in every moment of our lives, embraces us in our personal desert, and leads us to hope and fullness of life.

This truth is reinforced in the Gospel of John (John 5:17-30), where Jesus reveals His intimate union with the Father. He tells us: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing” (John 5:19). These words show us that Jesus is always in perfect harmony with the Father, in a relationship of deep love and obedience. And this union with the Father is a source of life and power for all of us, His disciples. It is only through this union with God that we find meaning and purpose in our existence, and it is only in this union that we find strength to face the deserts of life and overcome the challenges that arise in our path.

Dear brothers and sisters, these biblical passages invite us to reflect on the importance of cultivating a deep union with God in our lives. God is always by our side, ready to guide and sustain us, even in the most difficult moments. Just as a mother never forgets her child, God never forgets us. He knows us by name, knows our pains and joys, our weaknesses and strengths. He is present in every detail of our lives, walking alongside us at all times.

However, often we distance ourselves from this divine presence. We allow the worries and challenges of daily life to separate us from God. We allow the voices of the world to dominate us and lead us away from the gentle and loving voice of our heavenly Father. But today, I would like to encourage each of you to rediscover this divine presence in your lives. I want to invite you to approach God with an open and receptive heart, trusting in His faithfulness and unconditional love.

And how can we do this? How can we cultivate this deep union with God in our daily lives? Allow me to offer some practical guidelines:

First, set aside daily time for prayer and reading the Word of God. It is through these moments of silence and reflection that we make space to hear God’s voice in our lives. Make prayer a priority, a sacred moment in which you meet with the heavenly Father and share with Him your joys and concerns.

Second, seek God’s presence in all things. Train your eyes to see the signs of divine love in every detail of nature, in the people around you, in the situations you experience. Learn to recognize God’s hand at work in your lives, even in the simplest and most ordinary moments.

Third, practice gratitude. Cultivate a grateful heart for all the blessings you receive daily. Gratitude helps us to look beyond difficulties and to recognize God’s goodness, even in the midst of adversities. Thank God for His faithfulness, for His constant love, and for His presence in your lives.

Fourth, live in communion with others. Seek to build healthy and genuine relationships, based on love, respect, and compassion. Communion with others helps us to experience God’s presence concretely. When we unite in love and mutual service, we reflect God’s image to the world and witness His transforming love.

Dear brothers and sisters, the divine presence is a tangible reality in our lives. God is by our side, walking with us at all times. He knows us, loves us, and guides us. Therefore, do not let the desert of life discourage you. Do not be overcome by difficulties and uncertainties. Instead, trust in God’s faithfulness and seek to cultivate a deep union with Him.

Remember the words of the prophet Isaiah: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you.” And also remember the words of Jesus: “The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing.” Trust in God’s love, trust in His constant presence in your life.

May this reflection be an encouraging reminder for all of us. May we seek God’s presence in our daily lives, cultivating a deep union with Him. May we live as beloved sons and daughters, trusting in the faithfulness and unconditional love of our heavenly Father.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, may the grace, love, and divine hope always be present in your lives. May you be living witnesses of the transforming power of God’s love. May every step you take be guided by the divine presence.

So be it.