1st Reading: Jer 20:10-13; Psalm: 18. R. v. 6; Gospel: Jn 10:31-42
MAKING AN INFORMED CHOICE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The reason why the Jews took up stones to stone Jesus was because in the previous verses of this chapter (John 10), they had asked Jesus to tell them plainly if he was the Christ (vs 24). The plan of these men was to instigate Jesus to commit blasphemy so they could hold that as a charge against him. They knew Jesus would not deny the claim that he came from God. They knew he was fearless and bold. In reply to them Jesus said “The Father and I are one” (vs 30). It was for this reason they picked up stones to stone Jesus because to them he blasphemed to have said he was one with God. And stoning was the penalty for blasphemy (Lev 24:16).
At this point, the good works of Jesus which testified that he was the Christ was no longer their concern. They were not going to stone Jesus for those good deeds but for claiming equality with God which they felt they succeeded in making him say. But for Jesus, he did not declare his oneness with the Father out of any instigation. He was only stating his true identity which cannot be concealed. And for this reason they wanted to kill him.
Why should our numerous good deeds become too small to douse the anger of people when they feel offended by us? Why can’t people remember them when they are angry at us? Is it not incommensurate to suddenly use an instance we consider offensive to disregard the numerous works of others? And at times this offence in question could be the result of people’s indisposition to accept the truth or to accept being challenged. When we hear something that upsets our areas of comfort, a little pause and a little reflection can help us make an informed choice. Anger disrupts this process.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, grant us the grace to love and not to hate. Amen.