Jesus reveals the unity of the Almighty Father and the Son and warns men of the consequences of the Judgment. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Wisdom from the Holy Spirit so he can joyfully experience the reality of Heaven and by growing in the Virtue of Charity and be strengthened by the Eucharist to do many good works.
4th Week of Lent – Wednesday – Jn 5:17-30
After Jesus heals the ungrateful cripple at the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, the man reveals Jesus’ identity to the Jews, and they accuse Him of breaking the Sabbath, an offense punishable by death. Jesus publicly rebukes and humiliates His accusers by proclaiming God the Father continues to give life on the Sabbath and the Son also restores the ill to life on the Sabbath. The Jews are furious and seek to kill Jesus, not only for breaking their twisted understanding of the Sabbath, but also for blasphemy, because they mistakenly believe Jesus is simply a man who claims to be equal to God.
Despite the Jews’ outward hostility, Jesus fearlessly makes even bolder revelations: God is the Father who loves His Son with divine intimacy; the Father teaches the Son and the Son is compelled to imitate the Father; the Father grants power to the Son, allowing the Son to do marvelous things, including the ability to raise the dead. In addition to His astounding intimacy with the Father, Jesus reveals His own authority and power: the Father grants the Son divine authority; the Father grants the Son equal honor; the Father gives the Son the power to raise the dead; the Father gives the Son exclusive authority to judge the eternal destiny of men; the Father gives the Son the power to be merciful to the good and to condemn the evil.
Jesus demonstrates His mercy by warning men to respect His awesome authority and power. He urges men to “hear my word”, and for men to believe in the Father so they might have eternal life. At the Judgment, those who have “done good” enjoy the “resurrection of life”, while those who have “done evil” suffer the “resurrection of judgment.” Jesus affirms His authority comes from God the Father and that His judgment will be just, for He does the will of God the Father who is the perfection of Justice.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be stunned at what Jesus, who appears to be a man from Galilee, is proclaiming in this passage: He is the Son of God, equal to God the Father; He is the long-awaited Son of Man (the Messiah); He has the Divine Power of God to raise men from the dead and give eternal life; He has the Knowledge and Power to Judge every man, to raise those who do good to Heaven, and condemn the wicked to Hell.
Experience joy in the reality of Heaven
Realize: In the day-to-day pleasures, sorrows, and busyness of the world, a Catholic man can lose touch with the joy of his astounding opportunity to be resurrected by Christ to Heaven.
Believe: Reflect upon the startling joy of Christ’s Resurrection and Ours (CCC 992-1004).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Wisdom so I experience joy at the reality of Heaven, my mind is lifted up to You each day, and I am able to give Your peace and joy to others.
Be strengthened by the Eucharist to do many good works
Realize: Jesus reveals men who have “done good” will enjoy the Resurrection; every Catholic man must perform many good Works of Mercy.
Believe: Reflect upon Christ’s call to perform The Good Works of Charity and Mercy (CCC 1458, 1473, 1829, 2044-2046, 2447).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Charity so I am guided by You to do good works every day of my life; strengthen me this week by receiving Jesus Your Son, the Source and Summit of the faith, the Real Presence, in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.