Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday of the Second Week of Easter

(Acts 5:27-33; John 3:31-36)

We should take note of who is speaking in this gospel. It sounds similar to yesterday’s gospel where Jesus tells Nicodemus, “’God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” Today’s passage, however, relates the testimony of John, whom we (but not the fourth evangelist) call “the Baptist.”

The reading does not mention us the context of John’s testimony, but we can find it by referring to the whole gospel. Jesus has left Jerusalem and gone into the country of Judea where John is baptizing. Jesus also baptizes -- a fact which raises concern among John’s disciples that Jesus is encroaching on John’s turf. However, John -- a true prophet – raises no objection. On the contrary, he utters his famous words of submission, “He (Jesus) must increase; I must decrease.”

Today’s gospel challenges us to be likewise humble. We think of ourselves as fortunate to live in a time of so many comforts and conveniences – to name a few: high definition television, central air and heating, popular vacation cruises. But are these luxuries anything in comparison to the eternal life which Jesus promises? Eternal life is companionship with Jesus. It far exceeds anything the world has to offer because it provides a joy not limited to time and space. We will experience it when we, like John, submit ourselves to him.