Again he said to them, “I am going away, and you will search for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” Then the Jews said, “Is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.”
They said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Why do I speak to you at all? I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me. And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.” As he was saying these things, many believed in him.
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.
In today’s gospel reading, the rewards of a close relationship with God are evident, as Jesus has a conversation with an stubborn group of people, the Pharisees. Jesus tells the Pharisees that their sinning is pulling them away from God, and thus, they will not earn entrance into Heaven. Then, Jesus says in a poetic way that he is the Messiah and that the Father is always by his side, because “he always does what is pleasing to Him.”
During Lent, all Christians have a journey to grow into a closer relationship with God. If we too, like Jesus, have compassion for all people and pray, God will always be by our side, and we will have the gift of eternal life in Heaven. However, if we choose to be ignorant and sin, like the Pharisees, our relationship with God will be weakened. We are all sinners, but our forgiving God always wants to be in a close relationship with us; the only thing that we need to do is to desire to grow closer towards him.
So, in this Lenten season, we need to remember that God wants to be close to us. When we show love to others, we grow closer to God. How will you show your love towards others and ultimately God today? Talk to Him about it.
– Max Mantych and Paul Gillam are members of the Sophomore Pastoral Team at St. Louis U. High.
O God, you revealed your love for us
through your Son’s death on the Cross:
grant us, we pray, the light of your grace,
that we who have been redeemed by his sacrifice
may imitate him in all things.
Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
—William Manaker, S.J.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!