The WORD in Other Words by Fr Anthony Ynzon SVD (Philippines)
Thursday 4th Week of Lent
Exodus 32:7-14 John 5:31-47
Once, I found myself window shopping in one of the shabbiest streets of the metropolis. What some stalls offered as “products” amused me: a report card with straight “A‘s,” a fake college diploma, a fabricated letter of recommendation supposedly from the mayor (from any town of your choice!), a “doctored” certificate of attendance made to appear to have come from some prestigious school, and a passport plus visa (forged of course).
Surprisingly people flock to them, people who long to get recognition even if it meant cheating their way through bureaucracy and/or job applications; people who need CREDENTIALS and people who need it fast, minus the sweat and toil.
Jesus, like many people nowadays, was once tempted by the devil to make “shortcuts.” He too needed credentials because to his distress, John the Baptist‘s testimony of him was not accepted by the people.
His works, miracles, and teachings were supposed to speak of his identity but his audience refused to accept all these. Not even the Father‘s testimony was heeded? What is worse, this rejecton of Jesus continues even until the present time! Would we want Jesus to have a fake passport? Could we bear to have him cheat his way towards our hearts? Definitely not! He will always be genuine, a true and loving God.
Accordingly, he too does not require us to be “fakes.” He would accept us for who we truly are. minus our “masks,” minus the make-up and jewelries, minus the fake smiles that try to cover up our hurts. He meets us with the sole credential that he offers us: A PAIR OF OUTSTREICHED HANDS WAITING FOR OUR RETURN. How can we possibly continue to reject that?