Apr 4 (Jn 5:31-47)

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, is considered to be one of the greatest presidents of the nation.

His presidency was under constant attacks and opposition, especially during the painful years of the Civil War.

However, thought he knew, there would be occasions for him to make mistakes, he had made one strong resolve: that he would never compromise on his integrity.

• He sought to make integrity as one of the hallmarks of his presidential term.

So strong was this resolve, that he once said:

“I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration…

… that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one Friend left…

… and that Friend shall be down inside of me.”

Abraham Lincoln chose not to compromise his integrity…

… because he realized that only that will ensure his friendship with the Lord…

… till the end!

He valued his integrity for Christ’s sake…

… than to compromise his principles and turn popular

He gave priority to his honesty for the Lord’s honour…

… than to dilute his ethics and gain cheap fame.

Our Christian Life is a constant challenge to stand against such prospects of gaining false fame and phony popularity, by compromising on one’s Christian ideologies and values.

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus who stood firm and rock-solid, in his mission commitment, even in the face of opposition, indifference and apathy from the Jews.

The context of today’s Gospel Passage – Jn 5:31-47 – is the aftermath of the Healing of the Crippled Man by the pool of Bethesda, on the Sabbath Day (Jn 5:1-18)

This incident had sparked a rage of opposition against Jesus…

• He was persecuted because the act of healing was done on the Sabbath (Jn 5: 16)

• His defense caused the Jews to kill Him, because Jesus equated Himself with God (Jn 5:18)

There was a strong wave of antagonism and hostility, against Jesus…

… that was pressurizing Him to compromise His teachings

….that was coercing Him to dilute His principles

But Jesus stood firm and rock-solid, in his mission commitment, even in the face of opposition, indifference and apathy from the Jews.

He therefore presents before the Jews, witnesses which would testify to Him, to His Divinity.

He uses the language of a courtroom – “witnesses” – to prove His credibility as the Divine Person

The Jews considered that two witnesses were needed for the veracity of a testimony or person.

• The Torah says, “One witness shall not arise against a man for any sin or guilt that he may commit; according to two witnesses or according to three witnesses a matter shall stand.” (Dt 19:15)

Jesus, however brings in 4 witnesses…

1. The Witness of John the Baptist (Jn 5: 33-34)

2. The Witness of His Works (Jn 5: 36)

3. The Witness of God the Father (Jn 5: 37-38)

4. The Witness of God’s Word – the Scriptures (Jn 5: 39-40)

Our Christian Life is a constant challenge..

… to let go of our values and principles

… to compromise on our efforts and mission works

But we need to be inspired and imitate our Blessed Lord…

… Who was unwilling to let go of His Commitment and Dedication to the Mission

And like Jesus, we too have the help of “Divine Witnesses” to accord veracity to our testimony.

There will be moments when…

… we get into situations of being asked to be dishonest, lethargic and be untruthful

• We need to seek the Witness of John the Baptist…

… who remained uncompromising in living a life of truth, dare and boldness!

There will be moments when…

… life surrounds us doubts in the form of sicknesses and tragedies

• We need to seek the Witness of the Works of Jesus…

… which brought new life and healing to the hopeless, the lost and the dying!

There will be moments when…

…our life will be caught in a turmoil of confusions and uncertainties

• We need to seek the Witness of God the Father…

… Whose unconditional love and compassion, strengthens us and lifts us without fail!

There will be moments when…

… our convictions get challenged by the straying and deceitful philosophies of the world

• We need to seek the Witness of God’s Word – the Scriptures …

… Which can bring clarity and passion in our Christian life.

Let this Gospel Passage challenge and inspire us…

.. to remain ever uncompromising in our Christian Life.

• To stand for God and His Kingdom

• To live to share His Love and Mercy

And to say…

… “if at the end… even if I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one Friend left…

… and that Friend shall be down inside of me.”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ If only God would seal my heart, so that nothing could ever enter there but His Divine Love…

… and nothing could open it, but charity!”

——————————–

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