“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf.
You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent. “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.I do not accept glory from human beings. But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him.
How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
As Christians, we have the double gift of the Old Testament and the New Testament. We have the word of God from the days of old, and we have the living Word of God – Jesus. We claim to “believe in the one whom [God] has sent,” so we should have God’s “word remaining in [us],” right?
It’s not so easy, as Jesus points out. Just because we have read the Gospel does not mean we have allowed the Word of God to live in us. For Jesus Himself is the Word, and He is alive, so every time we read the Gospel we should be changed – having encountered the living Christ.
If we aren’t changed, it is because we have not encountered Jesus. We have not looked Him in the eyes and allowed Him to gaze at us with Love. It is a scary thing, to be gazed upon by Love Itself. Perhaps this is what Jesus means when He says, “You do not want to come to me to have life.” We do not want to know what Jesus sees when He looks upon us, and we are scared to know what we may find in the life that God offers. Let us ask Jesus for the grace to desire the life He has in store for us.
—Rachel Fitzgibbon serves as Retreat Coordinator at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, Barrington IL.
Jesus, I desire to see Your face
and to know You intimately,
but I am afraid of what You may say in Your gaze.
Help me to look You in the eyes,
to see You as You are,
to see myself as You see me.
May my fear diminish with each passing moment
that I turn to You in trust. Amen.