Apr 3 (Jn 5:17-30)

After the death of a great painter a young Italian boy went to the painting studio and asked for the great artist’s brush.

The boy tried the brush…

… but found he could not paint any better with it than with his own.

It was then he realized…

… the power of painting, was not in the brush

>> It was in the Master!

The boy lacked the master’s power.

It was the Power of the Master that created the beautiful paintings.

Jesus, displayed immense strength and courage…

… as a result of His Powerful Union with His Father!

>> This Power led Him to create “beautiful paintings” of Mercy and Love in the world.

The Gospel of the Day is an amazing revelation by Jesus on His relationship with the Father.

This passage has its background in the healing that Jesus performed on a Sabbath day, of a man who had been ill for a very long time – thirty-eight years (Jn 5: 1-16).

When the Jews found out from the healed person, that it was Jesus who had done this work, they were extremely furious.

Their objection was that…

… Jesus had done this miracle on a Sabbath

… Jesus had made the person to perform a work – of carrying the mat – on the Sabbath day.

They, therefore, began to persecute Jesus (Jn 5: 16).

But Jesus brought out a fair logic in defending Himself, “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work” (Jn 5:17)

Here is an interesting statement… “My Father is at work until now”

This could brings us to an interesting doubt:

• Did God, keep the Sabbath Law, that He had given to the people of Israel?

The Law required the people to refrain from work on the Sabbath Day.

>> Did God do so?

>> Did God refrain from work on the Sabbath?

>> Did the Law-giver follow the Law that was given?

Well.. Gen 2:2 says that “God rested on the seventh day”….

But the Jews soon found out, that if God continued to do so… i.e. resting on the Sabbath day… then by Friday evening, at the start of the Sabbath…

…. the world would soon start collapsing!

… the universe would come to a standstill!

Therefore, when the commandment of Sabbath was expanded and expounded to specific do’s and don’ts, in order to sort of accommodate God, it was exhorted that…

…one could move something from one place to another in the house but not from one house to another.

For eg: a basket of fruits could be taken from one room to another, but not from one house to another…

And since, for God, the whole universe is His House, it is justified, that He can work inside His house!

Thus it was lawful for God to do the maintenance and sustenance of the world, even on the Sabbath day!

Drawing from this logic (or illogic!), Jesus now puts forward the truth and justification for His act of healing on the Sabbath, “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work!” (Jn 5: 17)

• Jesus equates Himself to the Father….

• Jesus establishes Himself as the Son of God…

And He draws the point, that just as, on the Sabbath Day, His Father….

… creates and sustains, so is He renewing and bringing life to the world!

… supplies life and maintains, so is He nourishing and refreshing the world!

• Jesus, as the Son has every right and privilege to engage in life-saving works, just as His Father

• Jesus, as the Son has every justification and claim to do life-redeeming works, just as His Father

As followers of Jesus, we are to be the extension of His life-saving and redeeming works in the world…

… Am I willing to become a person, filled the power of the Lord, in order to bring healing to the world, by my deeds of kindness and goodness?

… Am I willing to become an extension of the Lord, imbued with His spirit, in order to spread His love and mercy to our broken and struggling world?

As followers of Jesus, we need to have the proper and true understanding of the Sabbath…

• The Sabbath is a day of solemn rest, holy to the Lord…

… Do I give it to the Lord, entirely, engaging only in deeds that help me come closer to Him?

• The Sabbath is a memorial of Israel’s liberation from bondage in Egypt

… Do I remind myself of being a person to be liberated from the bondage of sin, and seeking to grow in holiness?

• The Sabbath is sign of the irrevocable covenant between God and human beings…

… Do I renew the spirit of this pledge and promise to the Lord with salvific deeds of love?

Let us deepen our relationship and grow in our efforts to be more in union with the Lord…

… the One who guides the world, the One who sustains each of us and the One who fills life in all!

Jesus, displayed immense strength and courage…

… as a result of His Powerful Union with His Father!

>> This Power led Him to create “beautiful paintings” of Mercy and Love in the world.

Let us also realize that it is only by “the Power of the Master that we can create the ‘beautiful paintings’ of God’s Love and Mercy in this world”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ A good way of staying in God’s Presence is if we are, and ever wish to be…

… entirely at His disposal!”

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