REFLECTION FOR TODAY
April 27, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon. So, the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.” Jn. 10:24-25
The Jews who questioned Jesus in our gospel reference today, had an answer already in mind. They have already concluded that he was an imposter, even before they asked him if he was the Christ. Jesus was very direct in His claim about Himself. The Jews were not ready to listen to Him because he did not fit their preconception about the Christ.
For the Jews the Christ would be a political liberator, one who will set the people free from the Roman oppression and set up a temporal, earthly kingdom. So, Jesus did not match their vision of the Christ. Why is it that these people did not know that Jesus was the Christ? They wanted Jesus to speak “plainly” to them, but Jesus surprises them by saying that He already answered their question but they “do not believe.”
It is interesting to know that the Jews wanted Jesus to speak plainly about whether or not He is the Christ, but instead, Jesus speaks plainly about the fact that they do not believe in Him because they are not listening. They have missed what He has said and are left in confusion.
By our words and actions, we often ask Jesus the same question, wanting to be assured that he is the Christ that we imagine him to be. He answers us as he answered the contentious Jews “I told you and you do not believe.” Our unbelief is evident in our unwillingness to accept the evidence he lays before us and allow it to convert us and deepen our commitment to him.
If you ever find yourself confused in life, or confused about the plan God has for you, then perhaps it’s time to examine how carefully you listen to the way God speaks. We could beg God, day and night, to “speak plainly” to us, but He will only speak in the way He has always spoken. And what is that language? On the deepest level, it’s the language of infused prayer.
Prayer, of course, is different than only saying prayers. Prayer is ultimately a relationship of love with God. It’s a communication on the deepest level. Prayer is an act of God within our soul by which God invites us to believe in Him, to follow Him, and to love Him. This invitation is continually offered to us, but too often we fail to hear it because we fail to truly pray.
Reflect, today, upon the mysterious ways in which God communicates to you. If you do not understand how He speaks, then that is a good starting point. Spend time with this Gospel, prayerfully pondering it. Meditate upon Jesus’ words, listening for His voice. Learn His language through silent prayer and allow His holy words to draw you to Himself.
My mysterious and hidden Lord, You speak to me day and night and continually reveal Your love to me. Help me to learn to listen to You so that I may grow deep in faith and may truly become Your follower in every way. Jesus, I trust in You.