Getting Ahead

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Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

John 5:17-30
Jesus answered the Jews: “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God. Jesus answered and said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for what he does, the Son will do also. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes. Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life. Amen, amen, I say to 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. For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself. And he gave him power to exercise judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation. “I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.”
Opening Prayer: Lord, open my mind and heart to hear your words of truth. Please give me the grace to hear and obey, to listen and act in everything according to your will.
Encountering Christ: 

  1. Father and Son: Jesus tells us in this Gospel that he cannot do anything on his own. He always keeps his Father as the point of reference for all that he does. His deepest desire is to please God in everything. Christ’s life is not self-referential but reflects the desires of the Father. Just as a son looks to his dad to learn how to live life, asking the questions of “why” and “how,” so Christ looked to his Father before acting. We are called to imitate Christ’s docility and love of the Father by living for Christ above all things. “And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).
  2. How to Get Ahead: We live in a world where, in order to get ahead, we are encouraged to put ourselves out there, to make a name for ourselves, to get noticed—even to the point of becoming someone we’re not on social media. Christ wants to be known, not for his own personal aggrandizement, but so to honor his Father. The ultimate sacrifice of the cross was for us, yes, but also to give glory to his Father. Do we try to “get ahead” in order to give glory to God?
  3. All about Love: Christ’s relationship with his Father is not based on submission to the Father. It is a relationship of supernatural symbiotic love. Their hearts are united in one course of action. It is their love that engenders the Holy Spirit. It is this love that brought about our existence and won our salvation. 

Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, thank you for allowing me to reflect on the love that you have with the Father. You have shared with me the confidence and filial trust you share with the Father. Guide me deeper into this relationship, as only you can do. Share with me the intimacy that you have with our Father.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will take some time at midday to reconnect with the Father, asking for the grace to do my tasks for his glory.
For Further Reflection: Understanding “Our Father” by Scott Hahn.
Father Joshua West is a Legionary of Christ priest serving as chaplain at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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