Some in the crowd who heard these words said, “This is truly the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But others said, “The Messiah will not come from Galilee, will he? Does not scripture say that the Messiah will be of David’s family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him. Some of them even wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?” The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this one.” So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them, “Does our law condemn a person before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?” They answered and said to him, “You are not from Galilee also, are you? Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.” And they all went home.
Society of our day is not evolved, it is still divided and very often confused. Amidst of these division and confusion, a man of faith will find the signs of the divine presence. If you do not see the divine presence, it is not because this presence is absent or invisible, because you refuse to use your intelligence or you do not desire this presence. Just like the different groups in today's gospel, Jesus grants us this freedom to interpret his presence in our daily lives. Our own interpretation of the events of life, will help us to identify the depth of our faith in God. How do you interpret it?
Action of the day: Learn to see everything with an eye of faith.
«Never before has anyone spoken like this one»
Fr. Fernand ARÉVALO
Today, the Gospel presents the different reactions to the words of our Lord. John does not tell us any word from the Master but he tells us the consequences of what He said. Some thought He was a prophet; others said “This is truly the Prophet” (Jn 7,41).
Jesus Christ is truly a “sign that will be contradicted”, just like Simeon told Mary (cf. Lk 2,34). Those who listened to Jesus' words did not remain indifferent to them, to the point that on this occasion, as in many others, “a division occurred in the crowd because of him” (Jn 7:43). The reply of the officers who wanted to arrest the Lord centers the question and shows us the power of Christ's words: “Never before has anyone spoken like this one.” (Jn 7:46). It is like saying: His words are different; they are not empty boastful words, full of arrogance and falseness. He is “the Truth” and his way of speaking reflects this reality.
And if this happened amid his audience, his deeds provoked even more amazement and admiration; but also, criticism, gossip, hate... Jesus Christ spoke “the language of charity”: His deeds and words showed the deep love He felt towards all men, especially the most in need of assistance.
Today as it was then, we Christians must be and are “a sign of contradiction”, because we do not speak and behave like others do. By imitating and following Jesus Christ, we must likewise use “the language of charity and love”, a necessary language that, in fact, we can all understand. As pope emeritus Benedict XVI wrote in his encyclical Deus caritas est, “Love —caritas— will always prove necessary, even in the most just society (...). Whoever wants to eliminate love is preparing to eliminate man as such.”