Thank you to Guild of Saint Jude member, Deacon Hugh Parry, for sharing this reflection:
Gospel Reading - John 12:44-50
Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me.”
Back to the recurring theme of light and dark. The key message today is not simply to see and to follow Jesus, but to understand that people have got to see past the man who stands before them. This involves understanding who he truly is; where and from whom he has come. He makes a statement of mercy ( …for I did not come to condemn…), quite unlike what many of the audience would have been used to hearing from their leaders who perhaps tended towards a more vengeful God? During the lockdown, Margaret and I have been touring round for our Masses, including going to Australia (streamed of course). Obviously, Masses vary with the celebrant but in every case, the Easter Candle has been prominent and perhaps even more so than usual. The priest has had it close to the altar so that it is in shot during Mass. Given the somewhat unusual circumstances surrounding our Easter celebration this year, I have found this prominent reminder of the Light of the World to be very comforting. It is important that we remember the Light of the World in the context of this reading….Jesus was sent in to the world as light so that everyone who believes in Him can move from darkness. The key point is that he does not condemn those who choose to ignore as it is His Father who is being ignored and ultimately, it is the Father to whom we must give account of ourselves. May God Bless and protect you all.
SAINT JUDE, PRAY FOR US.