THE GOOD NEWS IS GOD’S FIDELITY TO US IN JESUS

May 1, 2015 at 10:21 am Leave a comment

30 APR 2015, Thursday, 4th Week of Easter

SCRIPTURE READINGS: ACTS 13:13-25;. JN 13:16-20

The theme of proclamation and evangelization dominates the scripture readings during this week of Easter. Like the early disciples, we are called to proclaim the Good News. But what is this good news that we are called to proclaim?  Simply this: the fidelity of the Father to us.  Yes, today’s scripture readings affirm the fidelity of God to us.  In the first reading, St Paul recounted the history of salvation which began with the election of Israel and culminating in Jesus as the promised saviour of God.  In spite of man’s infidelity and lack of openness to God, God has never withdrawn His love from us.  He continues to love us even to the extent of giving up His life for us in Jesus. In the gospel, we have Jesus who showed His fidelity to the Father in spite of the fact that He had to suffer.  For this reason, we are called to proclaim Christ to others because He is the Good News of God’s unconditional love and fidelity to us.  Consequently, it is important for us to askhow we can experience the Good News today so that we can proclaim it as such.  The answer is clear: the only way to experience the Good News as good news is that we become faithful ourselves.  But what does fidelity entail?

Firstly, fidelity means that we are conscious of the fact that we are sent by Jesus just as Jesus is sent by the Father.  Fidelity in this case is to know our role in this mission, which is to proclaim Jesus as the promised messiah.  This mission is given by the Father through Jesus.  We are not the originator of the mission.  Thus, if we want to be true apostles of Jesus, we must take heed of His words seriously about our position and function with regard to the mission.  We must be humble like John the Baptist who recognized that he was simply preparing the way for the messiah.  So clear was he of his role that John the Baptist declared, “I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.”  Hence, apostles of the Good News must be careful that we do not project ourselves and allow people to worship us instead of leading people to Christ.  The great temptation for religious leaders, whether clerical or lay is that more often than not, under the guise of religion, we can make use of our privileged position for our own interests, to secure power and popularity rather than to make Jesus known and loved.

For this reason, Jesus told His disciples, “No servant is greater than his master; no messenger is greater than the man who sent him.”  And he added, “Now that you know this, happiness will be yours if you behave accordingly.” The implication of this subordinate role of the messenger means that fidelity requires us to be dependent on Jesus for our mission.  We cannot be true messengers of Jesus if we do not realize our own inadequacy.  Without Jesus, we can do nothing.  The true messenger of Jesus therefore would be first and foremost a student of Jesus.

Unless, we sit at the feet of Jesus, we cannot proclaim Jesus to others.  We must spend time listening and learning from Jesus about life, truth and love.  Without realizing our need for Jesus, we can get swell-headed and listen to ourselves instead of listening to the wisdom of God.

Thirdly, fidelity to our mission simply means being what Jesus is.  Fidelity requires us to be so identified with Jesus just as Jesus identified Himself with the Father.  Only on this basis could Jesus say “whoever welcomes the one I send welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.”  Of course, such identification with Jesus will naturally flow when we have spent time with Jesus in deep intimacy.  As we grow in love for Jesus and in understanding of Jesus, we will necessarily acquire His mind and heart, His vision and His love.

In this way, the promise of Jesus is fulfilled, by behaving accordingly, we will find happiness in life.  This is because in clinging to Jesus, learning from Him and imitating Him, we become one with Him and find life for ourselves; and thereby acquiring the authority to proclaim what Jesus has done for us to others.  Let us pray that we will never fall into the temptation of Judas in today’s gospel.  Instead of listening to Jesus and working for his cause, Judas turned against Him and betrayed Jesus.  May our fidelity to Jesus and the Good News bring us and our hearers the true happiness that we are all seeking for in life.


Written by The Most Rev William Goh
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore
© All Rights Reserved
 
Retrieved from http://www.catholic.org.sg/scripture-reflection/30-apr-2015-thursday-4th-week-of-easter/
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Entry filed under: Catechesis.

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