Daily Gospel Reflection for December 16, 2016


Today’s Gospel: John 5, 33-36

He did it again.

Jesus did it again.

He healed on the Sabbath. Didn’t he know the Jewish leaders would be watching him? Didn’t he know they’d be looking for something to catch him on?

Now Jesus has to defend himself. Of course, those leaders couldn’t believe what Jesus said about himself. They needed the testimony of a witness, which they had in John the Baptist. He testified to the truth of who Jesus was.

But in the end, the Jewish establishment only wanted to know if John would bolster their agenda. When he proved to be an obstacle, they ignored him.

There was an even greater witness they missed. It was the Father himself. His testimony was clear by what Jesus did. He healed! The deed his accusers used to condemn Jesus actually proved his identity, but they refused to see it. It messed with their plans.

It’s easy to get uppity when you read Our Lord’s skirmishes with the Jewish officials. How could they be so blind, huh? The miracle was staring them right in the face. Instead of recognizing who Jesus was and worshiping him, they plotted to kill him. Stupid, right?

But how many times do miracles stare me in the face and I fail to recognize them? How often do I carry out my own plans and agendas without consulting or acknowledging God? Or worse, how often do I choose to “unhear” or ignore the truth of Church teaching because it doesn’t fit my life?

Does God spill out of the neat little compartments you’ve fashioned for him? Does he wreck your agenda? Jesus wants to do a mighty work in you. He wants to heal your spiritual illness and set you free.

Will you trust, give up your own ideas, and let him?


Are you placing obstacles before God because you’re failing, or refusing, to recognize the “testimony” of his works in your life?


Lord, help me to recognize your action in my life. Help me lay aside my own plans, ideas, and agendas when they interfere with the work you want to do in me.


Copyright 2016 Marc Cardaronella

Marc Cardaronella is director of the Bishop Helmsing Institute, the adult faith formation school at the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO. A former Navy pilot, he gave up the fast life for an infinitely more rewarding career working for the Church. He writes about catechesis, evangelization, and raising faith-filled kids on his personal blog.

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