Did you know that the word "believe" is used eighty-two times in the Gospel of John? Indeed, the very purpose of John's Gospel is that all who read it may "believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, so that through this" belief you may have eternal life in His name (Jn 20:31).
When a book or passage of Scripture uses the same word that many times, the Lord wants us to get the message. In today's Gospel reading, Jesus refers to believing in Him four times.
If we believe in Jesus and prove that belief by living a new life in Him, we will have eternal life with Him (Jn 6:47; 8:31; 20:31). If we refuse to believe in Him, we will die in our sins (Jn 8:24) and spend eternity separated from Jesus in hell.
John lists some reasons people refuse to believe in Jesus:
- not reading the Gospel or ignoring its message (Jn 5:38, 46-47),
- not being willing to come to Jesus for help (Jn 5:39-40),
- a lack of love (Jn 5:42),
- the pride of preferring human approval to God's approval (Jn 5:43-44), and
- a refusal to believe Jesus' witnesses (Jn 20:25).
Jesus said, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the One the Father sent" (see Jn 6:29). Jesus implores us: "Believe Me" (Jn 14:11).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1, 2009 through May 31, 2009.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 3, 2008.