Whose Approval Do You Seek?
Daily Bulletin – 4/4/19
Jesus said to the Jews: “If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony cannot be verified. But there is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true. You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. I do not accept testimony from a human being, but I say this so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf. But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form, and you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life. I do not accept human praise; moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope. For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” (John 5:31-47)
Most of us are aware of our need for human approval. If people approve of us we sense that we are worthwhile. If people do not approve of us we can easily begin to doubt our self-worth. The saying of Jesus in today’s gospel is, to that extent, true to human experience, ‘you look to one another for approval’. Very few of us could make our own the sentiment of Jesus in today’s gospel reading, ‘As for human approval, this means nothing to me’. Human approval means something to all of us and, sometimes, it can come to mean a great deal. In speaking in this way, Jesus is trying to highlight a more fundamental approval than human approval, and that is the approval that comes from God. When Jesus says to his opponents, who were already intent on killing him, that ‘you look to one another for approval’, he immediately goes on to say, ‘You are not concerned with the approval that comes from the one God’. If they were concerned with God’s approval, they would not be intent on killing Jesus who reveals God to us. Jesus suggests in today’s gospel reading that a more important question than, ‘Do people approve?’ is ‘Does God approve?’ At the end of the day, it is God we are seeking to please rather than other people. Like Jesus, we are to put God’s will before the will of others. The life, and. especially, the death of Jesus clearly shows that the lack of human approval can go hand in hand with God’s unreserved approval.
Prayer of The Day
Lord Jesus, you teach me in the Gospel to add a supernatural dimension to all my enterprises and efforts. This mortal existence on earth is a mere drop in the ocean compared to the eternity that will quickly engulf me. Help me to do all for your greater glory.
Each of us is to be the moon to the sun that is Jesus, the light of the world. We are all called to reflect something of the light of Jesus to others. When people look upon us they are to see something of the light of the Lord reflected in us. When Jesus speaks of himself as the light of the world he is declaring himself to be the perfect revelation in human form of God’s love and God’s truth.
- Posted in: Reflections