A human Messiah
April 12, 2019 Friday, 5th Week of Lent
1st Reading: Jer 20:10–13
Gospel: Jn 10:31–42
The Jews picked up stones to throw at Jesus; so he said, “I have openly done many good works among you which the Father gave me to do. For which of these do you stone me?” The Jews answered, “We are not stoning you for doing a good work but for insulting God; you are only a man and you make yourself God.”Then Jesus replied, “Is this not written in your Law: I said: you are gods? So those who received this word of God were called gods and the Scripture is always true. Then what should be said of the one anointed and sent into the world by the Father? Am I insulting God when I say: ‘I am the Son of God’?“If I am not doing the works of my Father, do not believe me. But if I do them, even if you have no faith in me, believe because of the works I do, and know that the Father is in me and I in the Father.” Again they tried to arrest him, but Jesus escaped from their hands. He went away again to the other side of the Jordan, to the place where John had baptized, and there he stayed.Many people came to him and said, “John showed no miraculous signs, but he spoke of this man and everything he said was true.” And many became believers in that place.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
The Jews refused to entertain the possibility that Jesus came from above. They knew his mother and they knew where he lived. Even the circumstances of his death belied any claim of Messiahship. Based on Jewish paradigm prevailing at that time, a suffering messiah was an oxymoron. If we were in their shoes we too would have found it difficult to believe in Jesus. Thanks to Tradition, we have no trouble now embracing a suffering Messiah. It is even a wonder to ponder that our Messiah knows suffering. He is so close to us when we suffer persecution, weeps with us when we mourn the death of a beloved, and cries with us when we feel the pangs of injustice.
But haven’t we wished that instead of just mourning with us when betrayed, God would also avenge the betrayal by punishing the traitor? Or that instead of just weeping with us when a beloved dies God would also raise the dead back to life after whipping the killer black and blue? Haven’t we preferred that instead of just crying with us over our experience of injustice God would also bring down his heavy hand upon the unjust? These are cravings of the human heart that we would want the Messiah to desire. No, this cannot be! While our God became a human being, he remained a divine person and cannot nurture evil desires like humans do. Jesus was a man like us in all things but sin (Heb. 4:15). – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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