In today’s Gospel, the Jews are set to stone Jesus for claiming to be God, “You, a man, are making yourself God.” (John 10:33).
Jesus knew this already when he asked them what work he had done that propelled them to murder him. “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?”
It’s his good works he wanted them to focus on to get them to surrender their stubborn refusal to believe.
Those astounding works are the evidence of his oneness in being with the Father. “If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” (John 10:37-38)
He’s speaking to us the COVID-19 generation burdened by a great ordeal. Every Christian is praying in a deep hour of silence to the Lord who is telling us not to be afraid. Yet, he knows we’re longing for a few of those great works he tells the Jews to believe in. We just want him to get rid of this microscopic creature that keeps us away from Him in the Eucharist.
Jesus is getting rid of it for sure, maybe not as fast as we want, but along the way he wants us to go deep into a truth in today’s Gospel. Because he is in the Father and the Father in him he does only what the Father does, so when we cry out to him he heals, restores and conquers.
The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of destruction terrified me…
the snares of death lay in wait for me.
In my distress, I called out: Lord!
I cried out to my God.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry to him reached his ears.
Through prayer which always rises from a heart in distress, Jesus does great things, sometimes in astounding ways, humbling our wisdom on what needs to be done. But we need to be attentive to him and less to the news.
If we take our minds off the sole preoccupation of killing a virus that’s killing us and seek him who continually seeks us we will encounter the Lord who lives intimately close, wanting to calm our fears and restless heart, and quench our thirst for life.
Recall Jesus’ words when he asked a Samaritan woman for some well water and showed disbelief that a Jew had asked a Samaritan.
“If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” When she asked Him where he was going to get living water from, Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
When we look to the One who has authority over everything harmful to us, especially sin and death, he will come to us in extraordinary ways. Through humble hearts turned to him who lives close to us and stands on a brilliant horizon calling us, he will lift the burden of trying to conquer everything by human strength alone, which is intrinsically weak. We will know that we are not abandoned to this fragile, passing existence as He fills the deepest longing in our soul: to be loved and to love.