Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Numbers 21:4-9 and John 8:21-30
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is engaging with the Pharisees. He says to them: “You belong to what is below; I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world.”
I am struck by the question: Where do I belong? Or more to the point: Do I act as if I belong with the Lord Jesus Christ? We are all living in this world, but do we belong to this world? Do we live our daily lives as if we’re journeying towards our Heavenly homeland?
St. Paul’s exhortations in Romans 12 have wisdom for us on this topic. In verse 2 he states: “Do not conform yourself to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (This verse is highlighted along the top of the interior walls in our own Chapel of Saint Thomas Aquinas on campus.) St. Paul continues in verse 21: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Are we conforming to the world? Or are we allowing Christ to transform us? Do we belong to what is below or what is above?
With Holy Week only a week away, today we are given the opportunity to reflect on difficult questions: Where have the attitudes, culture, or pull of the world seeped into my life? Am I willing to renounce those worldly things that distance me from Christ? Do I have the courage and humility to ask Jesus to come into those places in my life and in my heart, and give Him permission to transform me to be more like Him?