“How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?”
While I was growing up, as far back as I can remember, my father constantly uttered this phrase, “If people like you, good. If they don’t like you, that’s fine too.” He was always trying to impress on me that what people think about you matters very little in big scheme of things. I find myself telling the same thing to my children now. In an age where our lives are constantly on display through social media, it is so tempting to post a picture, article, link, whatever, and immediately afterwards look to see how many likes, hearts, smiley face emojis and comments we get. We live in an age where we not only want instant gratification, but we want instant validation of our “lives” as well. We want those instant likes and heart emojis from others to make us feel that what we are displaying to the world is acceptable.
The truth is that our validation doesn’t come from what we put up on Instagram. It doesn’t come from the pics we snap and place on Facebook. It doesn’t even come from what we think we are and most certainly not from what we think others think about us. Our validation comes from the fact that we are created in God’s image and likeness and that we belong to Him.
John Paul II writes:
“We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures, we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of His Son Jesus.”
Today’s Gospel – John 5:31-47
Jesus said to the Jews:
“If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
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 human testimony,
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?”
Here is the challenge for today:
Take a break from social media for the next 24 hours. Instead do the following: