Daily Reflection
March 27th, 2004
Tom Shanahan, S.J.
University Relations and the Theology Department
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The reading in today’s gospel reminds us of the inevitability of Jesus’ final accomplishment of His mission – in his death and resurrection.  The entire chapter of John’s gospel from which the passage today is taken is about Jesus and the very mixed response that he elicits by his preaching to the people; some responses are positive (“This is truly the Prophet”) and others are negative to Jesus (“The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?”).  

Guards had been sent out to arrest Jesus, but the guards, having listened to Jesus were so impressed that they could not arrest him.  So we get a clear picture that Jesus is indeed a controversial figure to the people. The Pharisees contend that anyone who hears Jesus, such as the guards, have been “deceived” by him and yet others still seem to be open to what Jesus says and how he challenges them.

The division that occurs among the people who hear Jesus reminds us to ask ourselves how we are affected by Jesus.  We have to ask this because for us, too, Jesus’ words and actions are critical by which I mean that his words (and actions) demand a response.  If we are to be women and men of faith, our response to Jesus and to his challenges in the gospel is indeed critical. 

When Jesus asks his disciples in another place in the gospels, “who do you say that I am?,”  the response they give is crucial for their growing understanding of and affection for Jesus.  We, too, as contemporary followers of Jesus, have to continue to formulate an answer to the question of who Jesus is for us. The answer we give is crucial to our growth as women and men of (growing) faith. 

As we continue our journey through lent, we need to be continuously open to the Word of God.  As we make this yearly and important journey, we pray to open ourselves to the ever-deeper entrance of Christ into our minds and hearts.

Lord, help me to grow in my understanding of who you are and how you continue to call me into life.  Let me continue to be open to you and to respond  to your voice amidst the din of clamoring voices that call me away from you, from others, and from my best self.  Be the source of my growing in faith, in hope, and in love.

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