Gospel, John 3:31-3631 He who comes from above is above all others; he who is of the earth is earthly himself and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven
32 bears witness to the things he has seen and heard, but his testimony is not accepted by anybody;
33 though anyone who does accept his testimony is attesting that God is true,
34 since he whom God has sent speaks God’s own words, for God gives him the Spiritwithout reserve.
35 The Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything to his hands.
36 Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: God’s retribution hangs over him.’
Reflection. How often do we get caught up in earthly desires and attitudes and forget to think of Heaven in our Daily busy lives. If you are like me, with work, children, a wife, and all that comes with it–it can happen! Jesus in this Gospel reading from today, not only reminds us of His divine authority, but to me also speaks also in a different way upon reflection. He reminds us that if we don’t stay focused on our spiritual nourishment and prayer, we can get caught up in the Earthly desires which ultimately lead us to sin. We have no authority of the things in Heaven because none of us have been here. It is like giving a dissertation on Antarctica, but doing it without ever visiting there and experiencing it. Jesus, as the “God-man” had authority over us and over our salvation because he came from the Father, and from a trinity perspective was the Father. Let us never forget that through his Divine birth, Jesus was the new Adam, and Mary, his mother was the new Eve. He came to give us new birth through baptism, he gave us eternal life without fear of sin, because he also was the sacrificial lamb. He had to die to prove His divinity and to save us from sin. He had to rise from the dead to prove His divinity and to teach us in spiritual ways that we are now only beginning to understand. As the new Adam, he re-deemed our souls, so that we would know and understand that there is life after death. Mary as the new Eve, was an ever-loving model of devotion, of love, and of the Church. Through her witness, her life, and her devotion, we understood the model of how to be a good Christian and how to stay un-wavering in our faith of Jesus through prayer, devotion, intercession, the Sacraments of the Church, and most importantly our faith. We know this, because it is written.
But this leads us to a deeper thought, a deeper understanding. As we can see now in these modern times, more and more people are leaving His church, more and more people are becoming negative towards religion, and more and more people are failing to believe. Why do you think this is? I think I know, or at least have come to understand. It’s hunger. It is hunger for the Truth. Ghandi, who was a reader of the New Testament often was asked why he never became a Christian. His reply? “I’ll become a Christian, when I meet one.” Let us think about that statement- many are leaving Christianity and the Catholic Church because of various reasons; some of our Pastors do not lead through example, the sexual molestation cases, the mis-interpretation of doctrine and scripture. Many are not practicing Christians because of the sin, because of the double-standard displayed by many of us- to include myself- in what it means to be a Christian. In today’s world, with the glorification and personification of sin, sex, abuse, violence, materialism, etc, it is easy to get caught up in the status-qu0t, easy to forget about our spiritual obligations and health, and just go with the flow. Never a time than now for us to be Christian! Let us not forget that in His times, Jesus too was a rebel, that is, he spoke of things that people, in their Earthly lives did not want to accept, nor hear. How many times was Jesus quoted as saying “He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 11:15)? Jesus spoke during His Earthly time against the status-quot. Do you, as a Christian, speak against it now? Do you truly live as Jesus taught? In these times, all of us, need to take a harder look at that. We must act like Christians. People who have left the Church, do not believe, they hunger for this truth! They want to see to believe. The Holy Spirit is there to guide us, but we must act! We must show what it is to be a Christian! We must be humble, we must live with and as Christ did and is. We must reject the status-quot more than ever, and live a true Christian life. I challenge all that read, “He who has ears, let him hear”! God Bless! ~CJA
5 <sup class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”>Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and <sup class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(B)”>walk in love, just as Christ also<sup class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(C)”>loved <sup class="footnote" style="vertical-align: top;" value="[a]”>[a]you and <sup class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(D)”>gave Himself up for us, an <sup class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(E)”>offering and a sacrifice to God <sup class="footnote" style="vertical-align: top;" value="[b]”>[b]as a <sup class="crossreference" style="vertical-align: top;" value="(F)”>fragrant aroma.