Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John: Jn 8:21-30
Jesus said to the Pharisees: "I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come." So the Jews said, "He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, 'Where I am going you cannot come'?" He said to them, "You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins." So they said to him, "Who are you?" Jesus said to them, "What I told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world." They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father. So Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him." Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.
So they said to him, "Who are you?"
It is very difficult for all of us to accept criticism. Even constructive criticism. We are too stuck thinking we are always right.
Jesus wants everyone who reads or hears His words to change their ways. Admit to themselves they were not always doing the right thing. He was not talking only to the people of those days, but to whoever reads this account. His words have the same meaning today than they did over 2000 years ago.
We have to learn to accept His words, sometimes said by the verses of the Bible; sometimes by the advice of the confessor; and sometimes by a relative or a friend. We must humble ourselves, accept what we did wrong, do right, and change our ways. If we don’t change the direction we are going, if we don’t humble ourselves, we will continue asking “who are you”? “Who are you to tell me this”? “Who are you to judge me?”
Our actions determine the direction we are going. And where we will end up at the end of this pilgrimage.
The grand fork in the road in front of us determines our future. It might be the harder road to take, but the one that will lead us to salvation.