“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf.
You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent. “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.I do not accept glory from human beings. But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him.
How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Jesus tells the Jews, “You search the Scriptures…but you do not want to come to me to have life.” Obviously, Jesus is not saying that searching the Scriptures is bad, but he is reminding them that Scripture is not the end of the story of salvation. These Jews were worshipping Scripture rather than following what Scripture says. How often can we fall into the trap of replacing Jesus with things we associate closely with him? How often do we put retreats, liturgies, community service, morality, or social justice as the main focus of our religious energy? Though prayer is absolutely necessary, I think one of the most dangerous things we do is make prayer routine. We risk letting Jesus into only one part of our day. Rather than be a routine, prayer should be a habit. We should not just pray in the morning or at night, but rather walk with Jesus moment to moment in all of the new experiences we live. I can be the first to say that this is not easy and I fail many days. However, I’d rather fail and fall into the mercy of God than settle for a comfortable and easy faith.
– Joe Laughlin is a member of the Senior Pastoral Team at St. Louis U. High.
Lord, teach me to be always open to seeing you in new places, new faces, and new experiences.
Shake me out of the comfortable state of half-living I sometimes fall into,
and grow in me the grace to say ‘yes’ to you on a whim’s notice. Amen.
—Joe LaughlinPlease share the Good Word with your friends!