April 8, 2019

Gospel JN 8:12-20
Jesus spoke to them again, saying,
“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
So the Pharisees said to him,
“You testify on your own behalf,
so your testimony cannot be verified.”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Even if I do testify on my own behalf, my testimony can be verified,
because I know where I came from and where I am going.
But you do not know where I come from or where I am going.
You judge by appearances, but I do not judge anyone.
And even if I should judge, my judgment is valid,
because I am not alone,
but it is I and the Father who sent me.
Even in your law it is written
that the testimony of two men can be verified.
I testify on my behalf and so does the Father who sent me.”
So they said to him, “Where is your father?”
Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father.
If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
He spoke these words
while teaching in the treasury in the temple area.
But no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
Reflection:
Jesus spoke to them again, saying,
“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
If I were lost in a dark cave my eyes would constantly be searching for the slightest speck of light. When I saw some light, I would follow it hoping the light would lead me to freedom.
Jesus is telling the Pharisees that He is the light, and if they follow Him they will be set free from the darkness of judging and condemning others for the slightest violation of their stringent religious law. `
So the Pharisees said to him,
“You testify on your own behalf,
so your testimony cannot be verified.”
I can’t help but think of “Huckey”, my buddy in the third grade. Every time we got in an argument, “Huckey” would fall back on his one surefire position. He would stubbornly repeat, “Prove it….Prove it.”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Even if I do testify on my own behalf, my testimony can be verified,
because I know where I came from and where I am going.
But you do not know where I come from or where I am going.
You judge by appearances, but I do not judge anyone.
Perhaps, I am more like the Pharisees than I care to admit. Don’t I too, at times, “judge by appearances?”
When I see a person dressed in a three piece suit and carrying a briefcase, I may assume they have “their life together.” Yet, they may be filled with a darkness of soul. When I see a homeless person dressed in rags and pushing a shopping cart, I may assume they are lost in the dark. Yet, they may be closer to the “light” of Christ than I will ever be.
“And even if I should judge, my judgment is valid,
because I am not alone,
but it is I and the Father who sent me.
Even in your law it is written
that the testimony of two men can be verified.
I testify on my behalf and so does the Father who sent me.”
In this statement Jesus is challenging the Pharisees to accept “in faith” that He is the Son of God. But, once again, the Pharisees fail to accept the gift that Jesus is offering.
So they said to him, “Where is your father?”
Instead of believing “in faith,” the Pharisees, like my friend, “Huckey,” continued to demand proof.
In resignation, Jesus replies, “……You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” St. Thomas Aquinas