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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Wednesday 4th of Lent

Gospel text (Jn 5,17-30): Jesus said to the Jews, «My Father goes on working and so do I». And the Jews tried all the harder to kill him, for Jesus not only broke the Sabbath observance, but also made himself equal with God, calling him his own Father.

Jesus said to them, «Truly, I assure you, the Son cannot do anything by himself, but only what he sees the Father do. And whatever He does, the Son also does. The Father loves the Son and shows him everything He does; and He will show him even greater things than these, so that you will be amazed. As the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life to whom He wills. In the same way the Father judges no one, for He has entrusted all judgment to the Son, and He wants all to honor the Son as they honor the Father. Whoever ignores the Son, ignores as well the Father who sent him. Truly, I say to you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; and there is no judgment for him because he has passed from death to life.

»Truly, the hour is coming and has indeed come, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and, on hearing it, will live. For the Father has life in himself and He has given to the Son also to have life in himself. And He has empowered him as well to carry out Judgment, for He is a son of man. Do not be surprised at this: the hour is coming when all those lying in tombs will hear my voice and come out; those who have done good shall rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be con­demn­­ed. I can do nothing of myself, and I need to hear Another One to judge; and my judgment is just, be­cause I seek not my own will, but the will of him who sent me».

«Truly, I say to you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life»

Fr. Francesc PERARNAU i Cañellas
(Girona, Spain)

Today, the Gospel speaks of the reply Jesus gives to those who do not look at Him with good eyes when He chooses to cure the disabled man on Saturday. Jesus Christ takes advantage of this criticism to emphasize his condition as God's Son, and therefore, Lord of Saturday. Words that will be used against him the day of his trial at the High Priest Caiphas' house, when Jesus receives his condemnatory sentence. Indeed, when Jesus declares himself to be God's Son, the High Priest cries out: «He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the blasphemy; what is your opinion?» (Mt 26:65).

Quite often, Jesus had referred to the Father, but in every case by establishing a distinction: God's Paternity is different whether it refers to Christ or to the other men. And the Jews who were listening to him did understand him very well: He was not a Son of God like the others, but the relationship He claimed for himself is a natural filiation. Jesus affirms that his nature and his Father's are the same, despite their being different persons. He states in this way his divinity. This is a very interesting fragment of the Gospel in connection with the revelation of the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

Among the things our Lord tell us today, there are a few referring to all those that, through History, will believe in him: to hear and to believe Jesus, is having already eternal life (cf. Jn 5:24). Certainly, it is not yet the definitive life, but we can begin sharing the promise. It is convenient for us to keep it well in mind, while we make an effort to listen to Jesus' word: The Word of God that will save us. Reading and meditation of the Gospel must become a part of our everyday religious practices. In the revealed pages we shall hear Jesus' words, immortal words that open the doors of eternal life. In short, as Saint Ephrem taught, the Word of God is an inexhaustible source of life.