Wednesday, 4th Week of Easter       

            We heard in today’s gospel passage something that is very important in John’s Gospel: that Jesus did not come to condemn the world. However, with the coming of Jesus, judgment is inevitable. Why? Because it is the response or non-response of people to the words and teachings of Jesus that will determine their fate – whether they will be condemned or not. Let us give some concrete implications of this…

            If we regard Jesus as the Lord who is worth-following, being his disciple will bring us a more meaningful life. We will experience true happiness that comes from serving him by serving our neighbor and our community. We will experience meaning and fulfillment in life by committing ourselves to follow him faithfully. But if we do not see anything ‘profitable’ in becoming a disciple, we will not give and commit ourselves to Jesus. Instead, we will be ‘serving’ or worshipping other ‘gods’ – whom we consider more ‘profitable’ – but actually they will only be enslaving us.

            If we regard Jesus as the light, getting close to him through communion leads us from darkness and we will live in the light. Being in the light, we will see the proofs of God’s love; we will see the beauty and goodness of life; we will feel blessed; we will see the future full of hope. But if we disregard the light that the teachings of Jesus bring, we will remain in the darkness and we will not see the right path. We will not see the presence of God in our life; we will not allow ourselves be guided by him; we will be making the wrong choices.

            If we regard Jesus as our only treasure (tanging yaman), we will be able to give up everything for him. We will not allow anything to prevent us from following Jesus. We will live free from the enslavement of material things. But if we invest ourselves to something else, hoping to get rich and accumulate material things, we will live for the wrong reason and purpose. We may have plenty to live on but nothing to live for; we will never experience contentment.

            In other words, our way of living – as manifested in the choices we make and the values we hold on to – is the one that brings judgment on us. Again, it is our response or non-response to the words and teachings of Jesus that will determine our fate. Let us not condemn ourselves by choosing darkness over light.

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