Reflection on the Daily Readings for 5/05/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Tue. of 4th week of Easter. Acts 11:19-26. Psalm 87:1-3.4-5.6-7.
John 10:22-30. Lectionary 3 280:
Most of us judge things by what we see as effects, results, or good
returns. The Lord expresses it by saying "by their fruits you shall know
them." Today Jesus is confronting his opponents and their inquiries into
whether he is the messiah or not. He tells them, "The works I do give
witness in my favor." But he is not answering their question about messiah
for they understood the messiah would be a warrior king, a royal king of
political power who would overcome the Romans. Jesus never identified with
this nor was he a zealot for overcoming the power of Rome. He is answering
them in firgurative language and raising them to a higher level of
thinking. At the end of the response he tells them that he and the Father
are one. They do not pick this up as a spiritual and transcendent way in
which he tells them who he really is. We the readers know the full story
that John's Gospel is a revelatory one wherein Jesus identifies himself
with the divinity as well as the humanity. As Word he is divine as son of
man, he is human. And, once again, it was all summed up in the Prologue:
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." (John 1:14).
Jesus power is not of this world. It overcomes the darkness of sin, evil,
and Satan, the prince of darkness. It transcends what people think of him
in his time and in our time. Just as his enemies refuse to listen to his
words so too we see a great indifference toward who he really is. He tells
us, "My sheep hear my voice. I know them and they follow me. I give them
eternal life, and they shall never perish."
In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles we learn that many
people are being led to Jesus and hear his voice in the preaching of the
Good News about him as Lord and Savior. They believe and receive the Holy
Spirit to confirm them in the truth of the Risen Lord. They have
converted, they are baptized and the church continues to grow after a
period of persecution. Again we see the good fruits of the apostles'
proclamation to them that Jesus is Lord. As a result a new name is given
to them at Antioch."It was in Antioch that the disciples were called
CHRISTIANS for the first time." (Acts 11:26). Amen.
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