Daily Gospel Reflection by Deacon Kurt Heinrich
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.
“Believe the works.” Jesus cuts through all of the drama and gets down to the core of how we will all be measured. “If I do not perform my Father’s work, do not believe me.” What a powerful and challenging way to approach life during these uncertain times. Do our lives witness to the faith in a manner that will inspire others? Are we able to keep the disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving so that we’re prepared to celebrate that Christ is Risen? These are trying times, but they are also times that afford us great grace, a grace that draws us closer to Christ. Never before have so many obstacles been removed from our lives so that we can rediscover what is most essential. Never before have we had the chance to spend real time with our families. Never before have we had the opportunities to pray from the heart, because the many distractions of life have been removed.
We may still be afraid, but consider the works of Christ. In many varied ways, physically and verbally Jesus repeats a phrase that we should carry with us, “Be not afraid.” Our spirits should be lifted by His work, our hope should live in the understanding that no matter what comes our way, Jesus is with us though it all. We should not live recklessly, but rather with a hope and courage that no matter what happens in the coming weeks and months, my faith and my life is with God. We are about to enter into a very unique Holy Week, let our faith, our hope, and our works show our world that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. What is my work today? Some of us are working from home, others have been laid off from our jobs, but is that the work the Lord speaks of in today’s gospel?
Let my work today include the words of kindness that are directed to my spouse or children, even when I am tired or frustrated. Let my work include intentional times for prayer as a family. Let my work be reaching out via a written card, a phone call, Facebook or social distancing to those in my life who are vulnerable or lonely. If I have the means, is my work allowing me to continue to tithe to my parish, or to donate to a person in need? What work is Christ calling you to today? We may never know who will see our work, but we know our God does, and let us hope, that our works may inspire others to believe in him.