What can We be proud of?
As I was reflecting on today’s gospel reading, this simple question continues to pop up in my mind. What can I be proud of about myself as a priest? What essentially gives me joy whenever I remember something I did?
As we go through the same reading today, let us for a while have a moment of reflection and ask ourselves ‘what can we be proud of ourselves?
What can we confidently tell others about us that we are doing, and it gives us enormous joy? What can we be proud to say we are doing?
In essence, what can we be proud of as a father in the family, mother, brother, sister, friend, Christian, priest and religious, politician, civil servant, medical doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or businessman? What can we be proud of about who we are as Christians and catholic parents, youths and children?
In today’s gospel, Jesus continues to talk to the Jews about himself. Today’s gospel is a result of what happened in John 5 when Jesus healed an invalid, that is someone who is very sickly, weak and disabled. After the healing, Jesus asks him to carry his mat and go.
So, because Jesus did the miracle on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defence, Jesus begins to teach and explain to them about himself. To affirm who he is, Jesus refers to His good works as a pointer of who He is.
Jesus has been pointing to all he has been doing which will stand as a testimony of who He is. He also refers to John the Baptist whom God sends as a witness to Him.
The Testimony Of Jesus and Our Testimony.
In law and religion, testimony is simply a solemn attestation to the truth of a matter. It is evidence a person provided either in words or written in support of a fact or statement. It is simply proof of what someone is doing or proof of who we are.
So, while the Jews are trying to persecute Jesus either because they do not truly understand Him. Jesus uses the opportunity to give testimony about himself, assuring His listeners that He is speaking the truth about himself.
Therefore, Jesus wants to make it clear that his mission comes from the Father and that his works are proof of this.
He says “Yet I have a testimony greater than John’s. I have work to do that God has given me to accomplish. The works which I perform will testify on my behalf and God will testify on my behalf”.
The point is that to talk about himself, Jesus was pointing to His good works. His good works bear testimony to Him. So, in the same way, “what can we be proud of ourselves?
So, can we be proud of the people we have touched in their lives through our ministry or can we only point to the people we have destroyed?
As Christians, are we proud of how many sins we commit daily or proud of how close we are to God? What can we be proud of ourselves as true Catholics?
As Jesus did, what can truly speak about ourselves? What work are we doing either secretly or openly that we can be proud of as children of God?
In essence, what is our testimony about ourselves? Do we promote evil, division, immorality, wickedness, jealousy, envy and faithlessness? As Christians, do we glory in bringing others down or do we glory in bringing others up? What can we be proud of?
Let Us Be a Point of Light.
Many souls are still living in darkness, wallowing in evil, diabolism, and lack of faith in God. There are people around you who are seeking only for water to drink. Look around you, many people are desperate for that good thing you can offer. Let us be a point of light to them.
In today’s gospel, Jesus said to the Jews about John the Baptist, that John was a lamp shining among them and they truly enjoyed the light that He gave. Therefore, John was not only a witness to the Messiah but also a light that was bringing the people back to God.
John was a brilliant light of truth for the people who are in darkness. Therefore, Jesus was proud of who John is. Can Jesus be proud of who we are? Can He be proud of whatever we are doing presently? What we do in secret, can God be proud of it?
The point is that as John was a shining and burning light to the people in darkness, to the people who have already lost hope in the coming messiah, let us also be a point of light.
Therefore, let us be a source of hope, conversion, encouragement and change. Let us bring a shining light into the darkness of someone’s life. We can ask ourselves again, what can we be proud of ourselves?
What is Our Mission?
Jesus is very clear about his mission. His mission is to save. What is our mission? Is it to divide or to bring peace? Where you are working now, what do you intend to achieve?
What have you been longing and singing in your heart all these while and it keeps you restless at night, that you want to do it? Will it save or will it destroy someone? How are we preparing for Christmas?
What can we be proud of ourselves? As Jesus points to John the Baptist as the light that led people to him, let us also live a life that people will one day point to us as the light that saved them when they are going astray.
Let us do this, even if we have made mistakes in the past. There is still a chance for us to amend our lives. May God help us.
God bless you dearest and give us the grace to be a point of light to others.