Gospel Reflection - John 5:31-47 - March 23, 2023 - Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Gospel Reflection - John 5:31-47 - Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent

    Daily Mass Readings | March 23, 2023

    Reading 1

    Ex 32:7-14
    The LORD said to Moses,
    "Go down at once to your people
    whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
    for they have become depraved.
    They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
    making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
    sacrificing to it and crying out,
    'This is your God, O Israel,
    who brought you out of the land of Egypt!'
    The LORD said to Moses,
    "I see how stiff-necked this people is.
    Let me alone, then,
    that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
    Then I will make of you a great nation."

    But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying,
    "Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
    whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
    with such great power and with so strong a hand?
    Why should the Egyptians say,
    'With evil intent he brought them out,
    that he might kill them in the mountains
    and exterminate them from the face of the earth'?
    Let your blazing wrath die down;
    relent in punishing your people.
    Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
    and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
    'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky;
    and all this land that I promised,
    I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.'"
    So the LORD relented in the punishment
    he had threatened to inflict on his people.

    Responsorial Psalm 

    Ps 106:19-20, 21-22, 23
    R. (4a)  Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

    Our fathers made a calf in Horeb
    and adored a molten image;
    They exchanged their glory
    for the image of a grass-eating bullock.

    R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
    They forgot the God who had saved them,
    who had done great deeds in Egypt,
    Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
    terrible things at the Red Sea.

    R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
    Then he spoke of exterminating them,
    but Moses, his chosen one,
    Withstood him in the breach
    to turn back his destructive wrath.

    R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

    Verse Before the Gospel
    Jn 3:16
    God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
    so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.


    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?"


    In John 5:31-47, Jesus speaks about his divine authority and the testimony that he receives from various witnesses. He tells his audience that his works, the Father, the Scriptures, and even John the Baptist all bear witness to his divine nature and authority.

    As Catholics, we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, and that he came to earth to redeem us and reveal the love of God to humanity. In this passage, Jesus affirms his divine identity and authority, reminding us of his unique role as the Savior of the world.

    Through his works and miracles, Jesus showed his power and authority over sickness, death, and sin. He demonstrated God's love and compassion for all people, reaching out to the marginalized and the outcasts of society. His message of forgiveness and salvation continues to inspire and transform countless lives to this day.

    Jesus also points to the testimony of the Father and the Scriptures as further evidence of his divine nature. As Catholics, we hold the Scriptures in high esteem as the inspired Word of God, and we look to them for guidance and inspiration in our lives. Through the Scriptures, we encounter the living Word of God, who speaks to us and reveals his plan for our lives.

    Finally, Jesus speaks of the testimony of John the Baptist, who bore witness to his divinity and mission. John was a prophet and a forerunner of Christ, preparing the way for his ministry and preaching a message of repentance and conversion. He recognized Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, and his testimony adds further weight to the evidence of Jesus' divine nature and authority.

    In this passage, Jesus invites us to reflect on his identity and authority, and to consider the testimony of his works, the Father, the Scriptures, and the witnesses who have borne witness to his divine nature. May we always recognize and honor Jesus as the Son of God, and may we be inspired by his example to live lives of love, compassion, and service to others.


    Heavenly Father, we come before you in prayer, reflecting on the words of your Son in John 5:31-47. We thank you for the testimony of your Word, which bears witness to the divine nature and authority of Jesus Christ.

    We pray that we may always recognize and honor Jesus as the Son of God, who came to earth to redeem us and reveal your love to humanity. Help us to trust in his works, which demonstrate his power over sickness, death, and sin, and to seek his guidance and inspiration through the Scriptures.

    We also pray for the witness of those who have gone before us, such as John the Baptist, who recognized Jesus as the Lamb of God and bore witness to his divine nature and mission. May we learn from their example of faith and commitment to your will.

    Finally, we pray that we may be inspired by the example of your Son, to live lives of love, compassion, and service to others. May we always seek to follow in his footsteps, spreading your love and light to those around us.

    We ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

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