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Jesus as the true motive

May 2, Monday of the Third Week of Easter
Memorial of Saint Athanasius, Bishop, and Doctor of the Church
Daily Readings: Acts 6:8-15, Gospel John 6:22-29

Jesus expects complete faith from his people. Only with entire trust in him can we fully open ourselves to his words and behaviors. It also means putting Jesus' teachings into action.

Following Jesus on his way requires true motive. The actual reason lies in the openness of oneself to the truth God conveys. Consequently, our motivations in following the Lord have to undergo specific filtration to become purer and purer. Failing to do so hinders us from seeing the truth of God’s words and deeds.

In the first reading, the people who came and debated with Stephen were astonished by his wisdom, and they were not able to defeat him. "They could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke." Then, when Stephen was brought before the Sanhedrin for "the fake witness" that was brought up, the members of the Sanhedrin saw his face like an angel. In the next chapter, Stephen speaks before the Sanhedrin, which leads him to be stoned to death.

The people who listened to Stephen acknowledged Stephen's truth, but they blocked themselves from the truth because they were preoccupied with their interests. Their interest was not to listen to the truth Stephen delivered but to find ways to condemn him.

Jesus purifies the motivation of the crowds who were following him after the feeding of the five thousand, saying, "You are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled." Further, he said, "Do not work for food that perishes, but for food that endures eternal life."

This purification leads the crowd to be more open to Jesus and results in an inquiry about what they can do to accomplish the works of God. Without further explanation, Jesus requires them to "believe in the one God sent."

Jesus needs his followers to have total trust in him. Only in the totality of our faith in him can we open ourselves fully to his words and deeds. This openness, then, is extended to the willingness to put the teachings of Jesus into our actions in life. In other words, the true motive for following Jesus is he himself as the Son of God.

 

Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.

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