4th Week of Lent
Isaiah 49:8-15; Psalm 145:8-9, 13-14, 17-18;John 5:17-30
I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me. (John 5:30)
As a child in Joseph’s carpenter shop, Jesus learned to do what his father wanted. Perhaps he began by sweeping up sawdust or fetching a tool, then graduated to holding a piece of wood in place. Little by little, he came to understand more than how to make a straight cut or how to fasten two pieces of wood together. He began to be able to envision the finished work, to see the yoke or the table his father wanted to build. Finally, he could take a project from start to finish in a way that made Joseph proud.
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus speaks of a similar intimacy with his heavenly Father. He says and does only what he has heard his Father saying and doing. His entire aim is to please his Father, to accomplish his Father’s purpose. Because he keeps that whole purpose in mind, he is able to undergo setbacks and apparent disasters. He knows that somehow they all contribute to the great plan of salvation.
Like Jesus, we all want to do God’s will. But in order to become effective in our work, we too need to understand the “big picture.” Sometimes we get tied up in knots trying to figure out little things like whether God would prefer that I stay home with my family or go to a meeting at church this evening. Of course Jesus cares about every detail of our lives, but we will find it easier to make specific choices once we have a better grasp on the big picture—what the Father is building and how he is inviting each of us to fit into his great purposes.
Today, Jesus lets us in on an open secret: “The Father raises the dead and gives life” (John 5:21). This is one of those “big-picture” truths that can help in your decision making. God is building an eternal kingdom in which everyone is fully alive in him. So how will your choices today help you to experience that life?
“Jesus, I want to do your Father’s will. Help me to stay connected with you so that everything I do contributes to the great work of giving life to the world.”~WAU