March 23 2023 Gospel Reading and Reflection

3/23/2023 (Thursday) Today’s gospel reading: John 5:31-47

31 Jesus said to the Jews: “If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
32 But there is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
33 You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
34 I do not accept human testimony, but I say this so that you may be saved.
35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
36 But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.
37 Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf. But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
38 and you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
39 You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf.
40 But you do not want to come to me to have life.
41 “I do not accept human praise;
42 moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.
43 I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him.
44 How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
45 Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope.
46 For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me.
47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

3/23/2023 (Thursday) Today’s gospel reflection: John 5:31-47

“I do not accept human praise.” John 5:41

Jesus did not work to seek the praise of men but to fulfill His mission in order to give glory to God. So He was consumed with passion to serve. He was never hindered by the lack of appreciation nor intimidated by opposition or rejection by some people especially the religious authorities.

There are some of us who love to serve in the church or in any community because we find fulfillment when other people appreciate (read: praise) us. Our spirit is lifted when we are given certificates for our contribution to the community. On the other hand, we get discouraged when we are not recognized for our “sacrifices” and we begin to complain.

The gospel reading above is an invitation for us to take Jesus as our example. “I do not accept human praise”, He says. While it may have been implanted in our psyche that people’s acceptance is a great motivator, we must endeavor to take human praise as just an icing on the cake, not the real impetus for us to serve. We must serve whether people appreciate us or not. Jesus Himself has emphasized that our Father who sees in secret will reward us (Matthew 6:4). That is why when we serve, let our motivation be to glorify God always.

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