Jesus condemns the Jews’ murderous desires and escapes their attempt to stone Him to death. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Faith so he can more deeply ponder Jesus’ astounding miracles and by building the Virtue of Charity so he can perform many Works of Mercy as a witness to Christ.
5th Week of Lent – Friday – Jn 10:31-42
Jesus returns to Jerusalem for the mid-winter Feast of the Dedication (Hanukkah, a celebration of Judas Maccabeus’ cleansing and rededication of the Temple) and is pursued by the hostile Jewish leadership. Confronting Jesus in the Temple, the frustrated Jewish leadership demands that He admit He is the Messiah. When Jesus says, “I and the Father are one”, the Jews, believing that Jesus has uttered blasphemy, not knowing He is God, they again pick up stones with the intent to kill Him, as they did at the Feast of the Tabernacles (Jn 8:59).
Rather than mysteriously concealing Himself as He did the last time they attempted to stone Him, Jesus courageously confronts His would-be killers, demonstrating the flaw of their murderous logic. Pointing to His many miraculous works which have been empowered by God the Father, Jesus demands to know which of His miracles are sufficient to condemn Him. Unable to refute the clear widespread evidence of His miracles, the Jewish leadership accuse Jesus of blasphemy because He, though appearing to be a man, falsely claims to be God. Jesus again reveals the flaw in their logic: Jesus can only do the miraculous works of God the Father because He is the consecrated Son of God. Prophetically, at the Feast of the Dedication, which celebrates the return of God’s presence to the Temple in Jerusalem, Jesus publicly returns to the Temple, and reveals that He is consecrated by God the Father. Later, it will be revealed that the glorified body of Jesus in the Eucharist is the New Temple (Jn 2:20-21); afterwards, the physical “old” Temple of Jerusalem will soon be destroyed (70 A.D.).
Jesus, in His mercy, again gives the Jews a chance to repent by urging them to consider the many miraculous works He has accomplished. He reveals His miraculous works are worthy of belief because they are the works of God the Father, works which are the result of the unity of the Father and the Son. Jesus’ insistence, “the Father is in Me and I am in the Father”, leads the Jewish leadership to again attempt to arrest Jesus; He yet again mysteriously eludes capture, and withdraws across the Jordan River where many come to Him and believe.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Marvel at how, despite facing hostile men with stones in their hands, Jesus Calmly and Patiently (a part of Fortitude) demonstrates Spiritual Works of Mercy (a part of Charity: Instructing the Ignorant, Counseling the Doubtful, Admonishing Sinners), using perfect Logic (a part of Reason) which exposes the flawed understanding and logic of the Jews.
Deeply ponder Jesus’ miracles to build Faith
Realize: Like the enemies of Jesus who ignored His miraculous works, today, many men either reject or ignore the Gospel record of Jesus’ many miraculous signs, claiming that they didn’t happen, were exaggerated, or the false idea that the miracles of Jesus were only symbols to teach virtues.
Believe: Reflect upon Jesus’ purposeful and frequent use of Signs (CCC 547-550).
Pray: Almighty Father, inspire me to grow in the Virtue of Faith by meditating upon and being strengthened by Your Son’s many miraculous signs found throughout the Gospels.
Be a witness to Christ through Works of Mercy
Realize: Jesus’ method of evangelization included both preaching and good works.
Believe: Reflect upon the need to imitate Jesus by being a Missionary Witness (CCC 2044-2051).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Mercy, help me build the Virtue of Charity so I am an effective witness for You and Your Holy Catholic Church by the many Works of Mercy You perform through me.