Fourth Thursday of Lent

Readings: Ex 32: 7-14 / Ps 106: 19-23 / Jn 5: 31-47

The first of today’s readings recounts Moses' conversation with God, who is angry. Moses successfully pleads for God’s mercy, but that does not mean the people are right in their ways; instead, it raises the question of how do we find the righteous path?   What do we believe?  Whose word do we believe?

That leads to the Gospel. Jesus tells us that he doesn’t accept human testimony on his behalf. To me, he is asking us to prioritize, and to seek clarity. Always, we must seek higher truth and higher authority.

Jesus asks, How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?

As an RCIA candidate myself, and as we all prepare ourselves during the Lenten season, we must seek His praise, true wisdom, and true guidance.  While we must all serve each other here on earth, helping each other in our own daily lives, we must ultimately turn to God for His wisdom and justice.

This raises another set of questions in my mind about where we are going and what are our intentions? We are not pure—we are all imperfect, yet we often appear to strive for perfection. There is no perfection for us here on earth, but the journey is so important.  Our motives must rise above.  

These readings inspire a sense that we are all on a journey.  All imperfect, yet every day we can strive for perfection. And in doing so, we must know we need to follow the path that He shows; we must also help each other on that path. We must speak The Word to others, we must serve each other, all on His true path. We are human, and not perfect; only He is perfect; yet we every day try to become more perfect, and on that road, we must act accordingly.

Mark Alexander
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law