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?».
What should I do to know God and discern the divine will? Jesus seems to propose to us an answer to this question, particularly to those who know to interpret the word of God and the tradition. All the divine teachings will propose to us, two sets of three essential means to achieve, which are in fact the same.
The first set is a vision from the Old Testament: The Word of God, received through the prophets and passed on to the people in tradition. The second set is in the new testament: The word of God which helps us to understand the INCARNATED, the teachings of the Church (prayer, fasting and charity) which helps us to understand and apply the teachings of Jesus to the contemporary world and certainly the tradition that we have received through the Fathers of the Church.
Today’s gospel says that the elite of the then society were in a sense very close to this knowledge, but still drastically failed to accept Jesus as sent by the Father. Jesus tells us that they in fact had the divine knowledge, without the necessary love for God, which is expressed through their love for their neighbors. Once we lack this love, which is expressed with charity, then all our knowledge will fail us, because they will lead us to arrogance and inhuman attitude.
Jesus is orienting us towards the Father, and affirms that if our hearts are filled with love and compassion, a pure love for God and sincere discipleship, we will be able to identify the divine presence everywhere and can learn to live in this divine presence for an eternity. In this true love and faithfulness, the words and acts of Jesus will certainly help us to understand the divine will and we too will be able to give a true witness, just like John the Baptist, because we will be fully accompanied by the Holy Spirit. Jesus says, that in His words and deeds, it is the Father who gives witness to Him. It will be the same for us too.
Action of the day: Do an act of divine love.
«If I bore witness to myself, my testimony would be worthless»
Fr. Miquel MASATS i Roca
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!».