Friday, March 23, 2018

“Let us ask ourselves, is our faith fruitful? Does our faith produce good works? Or is it barren, and therefore more dead than alive? Am I a neighbor, or do I simply walk on by? Am I one of those who choose people according to my taste?"

If you happen to be with an atheist who tells you that he does not believe in God, you can read him the whole library, where it says that God exists, and where it is proven that God exists, and he will not believe. [However] if in the presence of this same atheist you witness to a consistent, Christian life, something will begin to work in his heart…. It will be your witness that brings him the restlessness on which the Holy Spirit works.—Pope Francis Homily, Domus Sanctae Marthae, February 27, 2014

Gospel Text: (JN 10:31-42)
The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.
Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from my Father.
For which of these are you trying to stone me?"
The Jews answered him,
"We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy.
You, a man, are making yourself God."
Jesus answered them,
"Is it not written in your law, 'I said, 'You are gods"'?
If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came,
and Scripture cannot be set aside,
can you say that the one
whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world
blasphemes because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?
If I do not perform my Father's works, do not believe me;
but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me,
believe the works, so that you may realize and understand
that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."
Then they tried again to arrest him;
but he escaped from their power.

He went back across the Jordan
to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained.
Many came to him and said,
"John performed no sign,
but everything John said about this man was true."
And many there began to believe in him.

What are the “works” that Jesus is talking about? As I see it, they are works of healing (the man born blind), of feeding the hungry (the multiplication of the loaves and fish), of answering people’s needs (the wedding at Cana), among others. We know that Jesus would later perform the great work of our redemption and reconciliation.

For me, the same challenge that Jesus faced we face today. We may share the Good News about Him, and many may not believe. And so, our challenge may be, then, to do good works, by the grace of God, so that even if people won’t believe what we say, they can at least believe in the works, and see that love and hope, peace and justice, and joy, can and do exist, and there is a God who is the Source of it all.

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