March 18, 2016 – Friday in the 5th Week of Lent

March 18, 2016 – Friday in the 5th Week of Lent

Saint for the day: Salvator of Horta (1520-1567)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Jeremiah 20:10-13

Psalm 18

John 10:31-42

“Your words, O Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of everlasting life.” (Today’s Gospel Acclimation.)

 The S & Ps didn’t have any problem with the good works that Jesus did. How could they not see what wonders He was doing. What they objected to was the fact that He claimed to be doing this kind of good because he was God! Since these guys appear so often in the Gospels and always in the context of objecting – not the good that He was doing – but to the blasphemy of claiming that He was doing what the Father had sent him to do we have to ask, “what’s out of focus in their stance?”

It’s back to the age-old phenomenon – “I’m right and you’re wrong!” And Jesus tries to show them that a relationship with God isn’t an either/or stance but, rather, both/and. Then He calls them “blind guides” which infuriates them even more.

So, what’s going to be our “bottom line” in this situation? We can’t just love God “on paper,” so to speak. The words of James in his epistle come to mind: “what good is faith without works?” but we also need to turn that around to see that “works” alone are not the way, either. The S & Ps were ultra-orthodox. Orthodoxy means ‘right teaching’ but we have a new word, “orthopraxis” which would mean “right action.” Our words have to become flesh too; to reach our fingertips, so to speak. If our faith in Jesus doesn’t bring us to a point where we reach out to those in need around us it is a useless faith.

As we move into Holy Week we might need to open our eyes to see what Jesus is calling us to. We can’t just listen to the words of the Passion. We need to go to the next step and accept what that means. “Those who follow me will do the same works that I do.” We have to pick up our cross and not try to put it on someone else’s shoulder. We need to let our faith in Jesus move us out into action to those around us in need. Amen!

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