In today’s Gospel, we encounter yet another instance of Jesus responding to accusations of blasphemy. Facing stone-clenched fists, Jesus calls upon his detractors to name which of his “good works” they wish to stone him for. In response, they dismiss Jesus’s deeds and ask why he insists on making himself, a man, into God. After replying with typical rhetorical brilliance, questioning how it should be blasphemy for the Son of God to claim to be just that, Jesus bookends his teaching with the quotation cited below:
“If I do not perform my Father's works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father” (John 10:37-38).
While Jesus directs these words to his critics, we might equally find some wisdom for our daily lives as believers. With this passage, we are reminded that we may come to know God not merely through God’s Word but also through the great works God has done in our lives. During a recent conversation with Assistant Chaplain Grace Carroll, we discussed strategies for revitalizing my faith during dark seasons. One piece of advice that Grace offered was to reflect on all the ways that God has remained faithful to us during our lives: perhaps a time when a family member’s health problems took a turn for the better, or when a new opportunity presented itself out of the blue.
This approach has helped me to recenter my faith and work on building a stronger relationship with God. In particular, I consider this exercise to be important as I enter a new era of my faith life, one not tethered as firmly to the faith-forming structures of my youth and therefore requiring a renewed intentionality on my part. Although I will never stop listening for the voice of God, I hope that during those moments when I do not hear it as loudly, I may find comfort in recalling the “good works” that God has performed in my life. I pray that you, too, might find comfort in remembering God’s faithfulness at all times, whether dark or bright.