People of this world
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
5th Week of Lent
1st Reading: Num 21:4–9
Gospel: Jn 8:21–30
Jesus said to the Pharisees, “I am going away, and though you look for me, you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come.” The Jews wondered, “Why does he say that we can’t come where he is going? Will he kill himself?”
But Jesus said, “You are from below and I am from above; you are of this world and I am not of this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. And you shall die in your sins unless you believe that I am He.”
They asked him, “Who are you?”; and Jesus said, “Just what I have told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the One who sent me is truthful and everything I learned from him, I proclaim to the world.”
They didn’t understand that Jesus was speaking to them about the Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He and that I do nothing of myself, but I say just what the Father taught me. He who sent me is with me and has not left me alone; because I always do what pleases him.” As Jesus spoke like this, many believed in him.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
The unfolding of the Calvary events signaled the conclusion of Jesus’ mission on earth. But even as Jesus’ sojourn was ending the Jews were still asking who he was. Jesus had been explaining to them that he came from the Father. But they did not comprehend. Being “of this world” they absorbed too much of earthly priorities at the expense of spiritual values. They became too dull to absorb highly spiritual concepts.
We are all in the world. But we need not necessarily be of this world. Life is too short and precious to be squandered by attaching ourselves to this world. It is too short because “our life is seventy or eighty for those who are strong”. It is precious because it is the only period allotted for learning the language of heaven. This language is rooted in Faith, Hope, and Charity. Faith enables us to communicate with God, hope with our destiny, and charity with our fellowmen in heaven. If we do not learn the rudiments of faith now, we won’t be at ease with God in heaven. If we do not learn the basics of hope now, we won’t have the patience to work for our salvation. If we do not learn charity now, we won’t feel happy in heaven. Why?
Heaven is also open to sinners who repent before dying. One such repentant sinner could be the enemy we refuse to forgive. How would heaven appeal us if our enemies are also there? The point is not difficult to grasp. If still we miss the point it is probably because we too are of this world. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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