Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent
The testimonies about Jesus
“If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony cannot be verified …You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth …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 …. You search the scriptures …even they testify on my behalf …. How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?… For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me …” Jn 5,31-46
“If I testify on my own behalf – Jesus says today – my testimony cannot be verified”. Then he lists the testimonies which refer to him as the Messiah and which the Jews of his time do not capture: the close prophecy of John the Baptist and those distant in time scattered in the Scriptures, the miracles that he performs in the name of the Father and also Moses, who wrote about him. The same testimonies come to us, today: the gospels and the New Testament are a continuous testimony, as is the Old Testament via the about three hundred prophecies which refer to Jesus His whole story was already known even before he came to dwell among us. No one, on the contrary, announced Buddha, Confucius and Mohammed. St. Augustine instructs us on the way Jesus has fulfilled the prophecies referring to himself : “God has arranged that the New Testament was hidden in the Old Testament and that the Old Testament was clearly included in the New”. To understand this concept, however, we must make a leap of faith on the person of Jesus as
the Messiah, thereafter is the Holy Spirit to enlighten us. Paul, until he had read the Old Testament as a pharisee remained a pharisee, only after the conversion discovered the link between the prophecies of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ. The truths of the gospel, which after two thousand years shine more than the moment when Jesus revealed it, are a testimony as it is, in a world where everything is ephemeral, his prophecy: “The heaven and the earth will pass away but my words shall not pass away” (Mt 24,35). It seems impossible not to recognize in Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah! Only Jesus sheds light on the mystery of life, on the before of our birth and on the after of our death, the meaning of the pain, of the love and of the forgiveness. However, the stronger evidences are those of the saints, who, having believed in him, have made his own works. It is impossible, however, to believe and to give glory to the Lord when we search our only glory: “How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?”.