Meditation for Thursday of 4th Week of Lent
(Ex 32:7-14; Jn 5:31-47)
While Moses was up on the mountain, the people of Israel down below lost patience, and lost faith in God and His servant Moses. They made for themselves a molten calf, and worshipped it and sacrificed to it. The Lord in His fierce anger wanted to destroy them and set up a new nation through Moses. All He needed was for Moses to leave His presence, for the sight of Moses as the representative of the people was evoking His mercy! This faithful and holy servant of God began pleading on behalf of his stiff-necked people. “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought for out of the land of Egypt with great power and with mighty hand…Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, your servants, to whom you did swear by your own self…And all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’” Moses’ plea was heard, and the Lord spared the people of Israel.
Meditate on the beautiful role of Moses, and the burden of the righteous to save the ungodly! While the unfaithful people were down below satisfying their feelings and living according to their own standards, the faithful and righteous one has to stand up for them, denying himself and pleading for them to their utmost ignorance of what was being done to save them! Because the sinner is not aware of the saving work that spares his life, he may not acknowledge and appreciate it. Once one begins to realize this saving work caused by his sin and for his salvation, true repentance begins to germinate. That is why Jesus explained to the Jews that they did not know the role of John the Baptist so that they may gain knowledge and be saved. “He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.” But a brighter light than John; a greater intercessor is here!
“But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John for the works which the Father has granted me to accomplish, these very works which I am doing, bear me witness that the Father has sent me.” The Father has borne witness to Jesus through the very works He performed—works that only the Father can do. So the testimony of Jesus is greater than that of Moses and John the Baptist. Like the Jews, those who reject Jesus and refuse to repent are those who do not abide in the word of God, who have no love of God in them, and those who do not seek the glory of God but who seek human glory. Jesus said to the people, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
Let us at this Lenten season acknowledge and appreciate Jesus for pleading for us in the highest heavens. We continue to relate and absorb the testimony of Jesus through the Sacraments and the Scriptures. In this way, our lives too shall testify to Jesus, that His blood pleads insistently for us, and we have been saved, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Thursday March 18th, 2021.