(Jn 5, 17-30)
Jesus answered the Jews:
“My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.”
For this reason they tried all the more to kill him,
because he not only broke the sabbath
but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own,
but only what he sees the Father doing;
for what he does, the Son will do also.
For the Father loves the Son
and shows him everything that he himself does,
and he will show him greater works than these,
so that you may be amazed.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life,
so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes.
Nor does the Father judge anyone,
but he has given all judgment to the Son,
so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.
Whoever does not honor the Son
does not honor the Father who sent him.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word
and believes in the one who sent me
has eternal life and will not come to condemnation,
but has passed from death to life.
Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here
when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God,
and those who hear will live.
For just as the Father has life in himself,
so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself.
And he gave him power to exercise judgment,
because he is the Son of Man.
Do not be amazed at this,
because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs
will hear his voice and will come out,
those who have done good deeds
to the resurrection of life,
but those who have done wicked deeds
to the resurrection of condemnation.
“I cannot do anything on my own;
I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just,
because I do not seek my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.”
One of the most painful moments in the history of Israel was their exile to Babylon.At that time they felt that Yahweh had abandoned them. The prophets, especially Isaiah, was sent to remind them that it was because they had been unfaithful to the covenant that the Lord God had punished them. But only for a while. The anger of God is but a while. Deutero Isaiah then tells the Israelites that they will be restored to their homeland. They will have a “homecoming!”
In a beautiful hymn Isaiah sings: “Can a woman forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child of her womb?” Yes, indeed, the Lord does punish us for our sins, but in the end His mercy endures. “Hindi kita malilimutan, hindi kita pababayyaan, nakaukit magpakailanman ang iyong pangalan sa aking palad” goes out beautiful rendition of this hymn of Isaiah.
Lent is the time when we are reminded of our sins and at the same time it is a time to remember that our God invites us back to return to Him. Lent is a time of “pagbabalik loob sa Diyos na maawain magpakailanman!” Lent is the “favorable time” for the return of “prodigal sond and daughters” to the Father’ house. It is time for a “homecoming”.
Fr. Paulson V. Veliyannoot, CMF