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Thursday of the Fourth week of Lent: Humility

Thursday, April 03, 2014
Readings: Ex 32:7-14; Ps 106; John 5:31-47 

It is amazing how we can read the Old Testament in the light of the New Testament and vice versa. In this way we are able to understand better not only the unity of the Holy Scriptures, but single biblical passages as well. Today's readings give us a very good example of that, in terms of the attitudes of Moses and Jesus.

The main point of the first reading is a conversation between God and Moses. God is going to punish Israel, because they turned away from Him. They made a molten calf, worshiping it and sacrificing to it. They forgot how God had brought them out from the land of Egypt. Moses as the leader of Israel tries to defend people against God’s wrath. As we can see in today’s Gospel, Israel rejected God not only in the desert. The Gospel shows in some sense a continuation of this story, because most of his Jewish contemporaries didn’t recognize and accept Jesus, the Son of God, who was sent by his Father. Jesus speaks to the Jews about his mission and testimony. He says that the best testimony are the works that the Father gave him to accomplish. They testify that He is sent by the Father. Nevertheless these Jews, who knew the Scriptures very well didn’t discover in them testimony about Jesus. In his speech Jesus refers also to Moses who was for the Jews a very significant figure. He proves to them that if they really had believed in Moses they would have believed Him too, because his words testify about him.

The Jews saw how God brought them out of the land of Egypt, but they didn’t believe Him. They saw Jesus’s life and works, but also in this case they didn’t believe him. They see and hear God’s works. They knew the Scriptures very well, but nevertheless they didn’t believe. How did it happen? Jesus gives an answer to this questions: "How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?" (John 5.44). They didn’t seek the praise and glory of God, but only their own praise, and because of that they weren’t able to believe God. Only if we seek God, who is our Creator and Redeemer, as well as his praise and glory, will we be able to find our own praise living with Him in eternal life.

Paweł Szylak OP


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