(Jn 5, 31-47)
Jesus said to the Jews:
“If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John’s.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.
“I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me.
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?”
Yahweh changed his mind!
No sooner had Israel entered into a Covenant with Yahweh than they turn away from the terms and conditions of the Covenant! Yahweh complains that the Israelites were a stiff necked people. The story of Israel is a story of infidelity to their covenant with Yahweh! Yet every time they would confess their sins and repent the Lord would forgive them. Always the mercy of God takes precedence over his justice. Indeed, mercy is the justice of God.
But even as the Lord is merciful yet does he desire that man, the sinner begs for his mercy. Thus, Moses, intercedes for the Israelites. Moses sort of “reminds” God of his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And Yahweh “change his mind” in response to the prayer of Moses! What a God we have! We have a merciful God who listen to the intercession of the good for the sake of the evil.
How praiseworthy then is our prayer for sinners. So often sinners may not know the evil they do, or they may lack the strength to change. But if there are people likes Moses who pray for sinners, God’ mercy is poured out on sinners. Such was the prayer and tears of St. Monica for her son, St. Augustine! Were it not for the prayers of St. Monica we would not have a St. Augustine. I am sure we have people in mind who need to be converted. We would pray, “Lord be merciful to _______. Amen.”
Fr. Paulson V. Veliyannoor, CMF