Friday of the 3rd Week of Advent

John 5:33-36

Fr. Joel O. Jason, in his homily (Sabbath Scripture Meditation for Daily Life – Dec. 16, 2011 p.357), stated that when a Pope goes around Rome or visits neighboring cities in Italy, a Swiss guard drives him in a papal car with a special plate and a Vatican state flag.

Here’s a fictional story about Pope Benedict XIV. One day he decided to sneak into the papal car and drive it himself. Excited, he stepped on the gas pedal and cruised at a very high speed. An Italian police flagged him down and when the Pope rolled down the window, the police immediately called his superior. “Give him a ticket. I don’t care who it is. The law is the law,” the superior said. “Sir, we have situation here. I caught someone over speeding, but I think he’s more than a VIP.” “Why, is it the President of Italy?” the officer dared. “No, I think its God,” the officer countered, “because His driver is the Pope.”

The Jews always required two witnesses apart from the person in question. The Book of Deuteronomy (17:6) states: “On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses he that is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness.” And it was universally held also that a man’s evidence about himself could not be accepted. That is why, a Jewish commentary on the law, the Mishnah, makes a similar comment, saying a person is not necessarily to be believed when speaking in his or her own defense.

This is the reason why Jesus, in today’s gospel, stresses that not only John testifies on His behalf, but also His Father in heaven. And the way His Father testifies to Jesus is through the works Jesus performs. He cites His works to call attention not to Himself but to the power of His heavenly Father, which is working through Him.

What works of Jesus speak to our heart most eloquently, and why? For me the work of Jesus that eloquently speaks to me is He has always time for each one of us. Giving time to each one of us is one of the best gifts that He gives to us because time is part of Himself. He listens to children, to teenagers, to sick people and the unfortunate, and to elderly people.

Another one is His presence in each one of us. There is no doubt about that. The gospel of St. John (14:23), is a reassurance of His presence. It states: “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” But our problem is that we forget that he is present. Let us always remember that Jesus is here right now. He is with us because we belong to Him. We better make sure that we never forget it. Fr. Frank Mihalic, SVD, in his book, A Thought for Today (2001 pp. 84-85) said that in everyday life, we often use photographs or pictures to remind us of friends who are not present. We have them on our desk and in our books in a similar way some little holy card can keep reminding us that Jesus is present here and now and everything is under control.

In the loving deeds of Jesus can be seen the loving heart of God the Father.

See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

OPTION  01,   02,   03,

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