Friday after Epiphany
(I John 5:5-13; Luke 5:12-16)
It is no longer fashionable and much less considered necessary to believe in Jesus today. In most societies Christianity is an option for taking or leaving. Few are going to be denied a job, a loan, or a scholarship because they have not made a profession of faith. Then why believe, some may ask? The simple answer is that we believe because of the promises that faith makes. However, there are also testimonies on behalf of faith. Todays’ first reading mentions three.
The author writes of three that testify: water, blood, and the Spirit. Water refers to Jesus’ baptism which inaugurated his ministry. Certainly Jesus’ many marvelous deeds and his wisdom testify that he is the Son of God. But Jesus was more than Socrates, for example, another wise man condemned to death. Jesus’ crucifixion cross showed him to be the sacrificial lamb whose death expiated human sin. His blood, therefore, testified to his being God’s Son. Finally, the author posits the Spirit as giving testimony. Here the testimony is made by his followers, the “body of Christ.” Proportioned the Spirit with Jesus’ death, they testify by martyrdom and by charity.
There will always be a tension between faith and testimony. Although we believe and testify by our actions to Jesus as Lord, we look for support for our faith. We need not worry as doubts arise. Faith by definition is not scientific certainty. It still is solid ground. It will lead us with integrity through life and bring us to the threshold of our promised goal.