Jesus preaches and works many signs and wonders. Some admire and respect him but defer confessing belief in him as Messiah for fear of being ostracized, while other Jews reject him outright. The challenge is clear: for those who believe, salvation is at hand; for those who do not believe, they have already condemned themselves to emptiness.
In his visits all over Europe, Pope Benedict XVI warned of “secularization” eroding the Christian values and norms embedded in European culture. Secularization refers to the historical process in which religion loses social and cultural significance. As a result, the role of religion in modern societies becomes restricted. In secularized societies faith lacks cultural authority, and religious organizations have little social power. Without the ethical norms founded on religious beliefs, natural principles, and the dignity of man, many Christian values are in jeopardy. Examples of the threatened values are: the right to life for the unborn, the distinction between genders and sexes, the institution of marriage and family life, respect for the spiritual dimension, integral understanding of environment and care of the earth, social justice and human development.
Gospel • Jn 12:44-50
Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me.”
SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2020,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.