“The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he wants to believe.” - Voltaire (1694 – 1778: French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher)
Gospel Text: (JN 7:40-53)
Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
“This is truly the Prophet.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.
So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”
The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”
So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
“Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?”
They answered and said to him,
“You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”
Then each went to his own house.
The reply of the officers who wanted to arrest the Lord centers the question and shows us the power of Christ's words: «No one ever spoke like this man» (Jn 7:46). It is like saying: His words are different; they are not empty boastful words, full of arrogance and falsehood.
He is “the Truth” and his way of speaking reflects this reality.
His deeds provoked even more amazement and admiration amid his audience; but also, criticism, gossip, hate... Jesus Christ spoke “the language of charity”: his deeds and his words showed the deep love He felt towards all men, especially those more in need of assistance.
Today as then, we Christians are —must be— “a sign of contradiction”, because we do not speak and behave like others do. By imitating and following Jesus Christ, we likewise must use “the language of charity and love”, a necessary language that we can all understand.
Pope Benedict XVI, wrote in his encyclical Deus Caritas Est, «Love will always prove necessary, even in the most just society (...). Whoever wants to eliminate love is preparing to eliminate man».