Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Wednesday 3 April 2019
Gospel: John 5:17-30
The Gospel of John is different from the other three. It reveals a more profound dimension, which only faith is able to perceive, in the words and gestures of Jesus. The Fathers of the Church would say that the Gospel of John is “spiritual”; it reveals what the Spirit makes one discover in the words of Jesus. A beautiful example of this spiritual dimension of the Gospel of John is the passage which we are going to meditate on today.
The Jews taught that no work could be done on the sabbath, because even God had rested and had not worked on the seventh day of creation. Jesus affirms the contrary. He says that the Father has always worked even until now. And for this reason, Jesus also works, and even on the sabbath. He imitates His Father! For Jesus the work of creation is not finished as yet. God continues to work, unceasingly, day and night, holding up the universe and all of us. Jesus collaborates with the Father in continuing the work of creation in such a way that one day all may be able to enter into the eternal rest that has been promised. The reaction of the Jews was violent. They wanted to kill Him for two reasons: because He denied the sense of the sabbath and for saying He was equal to God.
Jesus, the Son, lives permanently attentive before the Father. What He sees the Father do, He does also. Jesus is the reflection of the Father. This total attention of the Son to the Father makes it possible for the love of the Father to enter totally into the Son and through the Son, carry out His action in the world. The great concern of the Father is that of overcoming death and giving life. It is a way of continuing the creative work of the Father. What the Father wants is that we know Him and love Him in the revelation which He makes of Himself in Jesus.