Thursday, March 22, 2012

A measure of honest introspection is worth more than an immeasurable pile of pontification

Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. - C.G. Jung

Gospel text (Jn 5,31-47):
Jesus said to the Jews:
"If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John's.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.

"I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me.
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?"

In today’s gospel passage Jesus Christ reproaches those who listen to him, focusing on four impediments they possess which prohibits them from accepting Jesus as the Messiah: First, they do not accept him as the Son of God; Second, the lack of love for God in their heart; Third, the lack of honest intentions —they only seek human glory. Fourth, having their own interests at heart when interpreting the Scriptures.

Now think about the culture that we live in 2000 years after this gospel was written. Do you see any similarities?

In a little over two weeks, we will be asked six questions at the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday at every Mass in every Catholic Church in the world. We will be invited to renew our baptismal promises.

The key to the baptismal promises is the fifth promise and question: "Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord?" Jesus is the only Way to the Father (Jn 14:6), and He is the One Who baptizes us in the Spirit (Mk 1:8). Therefore, only by making the fifth baptismal promise will we then be able to make the fourth and the sixth promises. And only by making these last three promises can we make the first three promises and reject Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises.

In this time of Lent, by increasing the deeds of penance that facilitate our interior renovation, we shall improve our disposition to contemplate Christ's true face. This is why, Saint Josemaría, says: «That Christ you see, is not Jesus. —It will be, in any case, the sad image your blurred eyes may form... —Purify yourself. Clarify your look with humility and penance. Afterwards... you won't be lacking the clear lights of Love. And you will have a perfect vision. Your image will really be: Him.

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