This is not the first time Jesus’ enemies picked up stones to hurl at him. At every turn, they tried to trip him up, to catch any misstep. Yet despite all of this, Jesus kept inviting them to believe in him. In today’s Gospel, he implored them to set aside their skepticism about his words and look at his actions instead. If my words are confusing you, Jesus was saying, look at my works. Aren’t they evidence enough for you to start to believe in me?
What were those “works”? A man paralyzed for thirty-eight years was completely healed (John 5:1-18). A couple of loaves of bread and fish fed five thousand people (John 6:1-15). A woman caught in adultery was saved from stoning and received mercy (John 8:1-11). A man who had been blind since birth could now see (John 9). Only God could do such things!
Jesus wants his works to speak to you as well. Now you’re probably familiar with the stories about Jesus and the impressive miracles he worked in the Bible. But make no mistake, he is still working today. He is even working in the people around you. So ask the Holy Spirit to help you recognize these works. You might notice a recent widow in your parish who is able to find joy after her husband has passed away. Or maybe you’ll realize your neighbor has been patiently caring for his wife for months without complaint. You might even find yourself in financial need and receive a welcome bonus.
These moments of grace come from God’s hands. The more of them you see for what they are, the more you will believe, especially when times of doubt or anxiety make your faith feel shaky. Set your eyes on Jesus—both on what he has done in the past and what he is doing right now. Believe too that he wants to work just as patiently in your life. If he kept trying to convince his “enemies,” why wouldn’t he work just as hard to help you know him better?
“Jesus, you bring miracles to life around me. Open my eyes to see your works and believe in you.”
Pardon the offenses of your peoples, we pray, O Lord, and in your goodness set us free from the bonds of the sins we have committed in our weakness.