DO NOT FIGHT THE GOOD WORKS OF PEOPLE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
1st Reading: Exo 32:7-14; Psalm: 106. R. v. 4a; Gospel: Jn 5:31-47
The Jewish Law of Evidence forbade self evidence. To ascertain truth, no man was allowed to give evidence on his own behalf. A valid judgment must therefore require at least two witnesses independent of the person being judged. Deuteronomy 19:15 reads: “A single witness shall not suffice to convict a person of any crime or wrongdoing in connection with any offence that may be committed. Only on the evidence of two or three witnesses shall a charge be sustained.” Jesus leveraged on this law to prove and ratify his works and teachings. And so he started his argument from there: “If I bear witness to myself, my testimony is not true.” (Jn 5:31). For a Jew, this was a valid premise to build an argument.
Arguing further, Jesus established three witnesses that testified to his mission and works. The first was John the Baptist who came as his precursor and witness (Jn 1:7). The second was God who bore witness to him through the marvelous works wrought by him. For Jesus wouldn’t be able to do these works if he hadn’t come from God. The third was the voice of the Father from heaven at his baptism: “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.” (Lk 3:22). And finally, Jesus reminded the intractable Jews who questioned his authority that even Moses whom they propagated his teachings, wrote of him.
With all these witnesses, one would think that Jesus have succeeded in convincing these hardened Jews. But these men never yielded.
We can be this impervious at times especially when we don’t have the good intentions of others at heart. We fight and demonise people even when there are clear evidences to justify their good deeds. We don’t do this for any good intention but just to frustrate the good works that we couldn’t do and to rubbish the credits due to them. How often have we refuted clear truths because we fear it will take a toll on us? This attitude is gravely evil. It is like waging a war against God the source of all good actions. Let us desist from making this unnecessary and futile attempt to weary God. Because we will only be causing ourselves a great harm.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Lord Jesus, grant us a docile heart. Amen.