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Faith Daily | 30 March 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 48


Almighty God,

in Christ you make all things new:

transform the poverty of our nature

by the riches of your grace,

and in the renewal of our lives

make known your heavenly glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen


GOSPEL for the Day: John 5: 17-30


17But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father is still working, and I also am working.’ 18For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God.


19 Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father* does, the Son does likewise. 20The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. 21Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomsoever he wishes. 22The Father judges no one but has given all judgement to the Son, 23so that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Anyone who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent him. 24Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgement, but has passed from death to life.


25 ‘Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; 27and he has given him authority to execute judgement, because he is the Son of Man. 28Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.


30 ‘I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgement is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.


GOSPEL REFLECTION: Peter Galbraith


These verses describe the aftermath of the healing of the sick man in the temple on the Sabbath. In John’s Gospel the term “Jews” is often used collectively for those in authority. From other references we can assume it included the Scribes and Pharisees.


The Jews were outraged by Jesus – here was a ‘man’ actually accepting responsibility for his actions. There is safety in being able to justify one’s actions by appealing to a legal precedent. Almost daily we hear some politician escape from having to justify their position by stating that the matter under consideration is subject to some legal process.


So long as a law is there to appeal to, personal responsibility can be avoided. So it was with the Jews in this passage. What Jesus did, as reported in verses 17 onward, is change the underlying principles in a way which directly threatened those with power. In claiming to work with and on behalf of God the Father, He was identifying with the ultimate law giver. This would out rank anyone appealing to the law itself as the authority. So Jesus was posing a direct threat to these Jewish leaders.


We can read this passage at two levels. One, as above, where we read the episode as one in the procession of events leading to Easter day. At another level we can read it for the insights it gives about the relationship between God the Father and His Son.


FINAL PRAYER: Dom Camara, Brazil


Come Lord,

do not smile and say

you are already with us.

Millions do not know you,

and to us who do,

what is the difference?

What is the point of your presence

if our lives do not alter?

Change our lives,

shatter our complacency.

Make your word our life’s purpose.

Take away the quietness

of a clear conscience.

Press us uncomfortably.

For only thus

that other peace is made,

your peace.

Amen

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