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Liturgical day: Thursday 4th of Lent

1st Reading (Exod 32:7-14): The Lord said to Moses: «Go down at once to your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved. They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, ‘This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’». The Lord said to Moses: «I see how stiff-necked this people is. Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them. Then I will make of you a great nation».

But Moses implored the Lord, his God, saying: «Why, o Lord, should your wrath blaze up against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with so strong a hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent he brought them out, that he might kill them in the mountains and exterminate them from the face of the earth’? Let your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and how you swore to them by your own self, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky; and all this land that I promised, I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage’». So the Lord relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people.
Responsorial Psalm: 105
R/. Remember us, o Lord, as you favor your people.
Our fathers made a calf in Horeb and adored a molten image; they exchanged their glory for the image of a grass-eating bullock.

They forgot the God who had saved them, who had done great deeds in Egypt, wondrous deeds in the land of Ham, terrible things at the Red Sea.

Then he spoke of exterminating them, but Moses, his chosen one, withstood him in the breach to turn back his destructive wrath.
Verscicle before the Gospel (Jn 3:16): God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.

Gospel text (Jn 5,31-47): Jesus said to the Jews: «If I bore witness to myself, my testimony would be worthless. But Another One is bearing witness to me and I know that his testimony is true when He bears witness to me. John also bore witness to the truth when you sent messengers to him, but I do not seek such human testimony; I recall this for you, so that you may be saved. John was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were willing to enjoy his light. But I have greater evidence than that of John -the works which the Father entrusted to me to carry out. The very works I do bear witness: the Father has sent me. Thus he who bears witness to me is the Father who sent me. You have never heard his voice and have never seen his likeness; then, as long as you do not believe his messenger, his word is not in you.

»You search in the Scriptures thinking that in them you will find life; yet Scripture bears witness to me. But you refuse to come to me, that you may live. I am not seeking human praise; but I have known that love of God is not within you.

»For 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. As long as you seek praise from one another in­­stead of seeking the glory coming from the only God, how can you believe? Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father. Moses himself in whom you placed your hope, ­accuses you. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?».

«If I bore witness to myself, my testimony would be worthless»

Fr. Miquel MASATS i Roca
(Girona, Spain)

Today, the Gospel teaches us how Jesus faces the following objection: as Deut 19:15, says, «one witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses». Jesus plaids in his favour John the Baptist's testimony, the Father's testimony —manifest through the works He did— and, finally, the testimony of the Scriptures.

Jesus Christ reproaches those who listen to him three impediments they have, to accept him as the Son of God's Messiah: the lack of love of God; the lack of honest intentions —they only seek the human glory— and, their having their own interests at heart when interpreting the Scriptures.

Our Holy father Pope John Paul II wrote: «You can get to the contemplation of Christ's face only by listening, in the Spirit, to the Father's voice, for no one knows the Son except the Father (cf. Mt 11:27). It is, therefore, needed the revelation from the Almighty. But, to receive it, it is indispensable to place oneself in a listening attitude».

This is why we have to bear in mind that, to declare Jesus Christ as the true Son of God, the proposed external evidence is not enough; will's rectitude is very important, that is, a good moral disposition.

In this time of Lent, by increasing the deeds of penance that facilitate our interior renovation, we shall improve our disposition to contemplate Christ's true face. This is why, Saint Josemaría, says: «That Christ you see, is not Jesus. —It will be, in any case, the sad image your blurred eyes may form... —Purify yourself. Clarify your look with humility and penance. Afterwards... you won't be lacking the clear lights of Love. And you will have a perfect vision. Your image will really be: Him!».