As we approach Holy Week and the Passion of our Lord, the Gospels tell us more and more about the tensions that existed surrounding Jesus. In today’s Gospel, we hear that the Jews want to stone Jesus for blasphemy but he responds with “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?” and later says, “If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works”. Christ is telling the Jews that actions speak louder than words and that, if they have such a hard time believing His words, they ought to look to his actions for proof.
I think this Gospel is incredibly relevant in the world and culture in which we live. Jesus is telling us that yes, our faith is important but it is our works that will lead others to believe. Our works are the way we witness to the Gospel. In the same way that Christ’s actions proved that He is God so to do our actions prove that we are part of the Church, that we are filled with hope for the coming of our Lord.
We wait in patient anticipation for the Resurrection of Christ because we know that He is our God and Redeemer. He has shown us that in His words and in His actions.
In one of his homilies, Pope Francis said, “We are not just a religion of ideas, of pure theology, of beautiful things, and commandments. No, we are a people who follow Jesus Christ and bear witness–who want to bear witness to Jesus Christ–and sometimes this witness leads to laying down our lives”. We must be willing to bear witness to the Gospel, even if it’s difficult, even if we must sacrifice our worldly comforts.
As this Lenten season comes to end may our hearts be filled with gratitude for the sacrifice of Christ and may we grow in strength so that we can bear witness to the great joy of the Resurrection.
St. Julius, pray for us!
Dakota currently lives in Denver, CO is studying for her Master’s in Spanish, and loves her job as an elementary school librarian. She is engaged to the love of her life, Ralph. In her spare time, she reads, goes to breweries, and watches baseball. Dakota’s favorite saints are St. John Paul II (how could it not be?) and St. José Luis Sánchez del Río. She is passionate about her faith and considers herself blessed at any opportunity to share that faith with others. Check out more of her writing at https://dakotaleonard16.blogspot.com.