Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.”
We live in a broken world full of imitations and scams. It has become second nature to be suspicious of authorities. We ask, “Sure or not?” or in modern parlance, “Is it legit?” We want to see badges, passes, and proof of authority to know that we are in the right.
The Jews in Jerusalem were upset with Jesus’s healing of the invalid at the Pool of Bethseda. They were upset because Jesus had commanded the former invalid to do work on a Sabbath. “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk?’” (Jn 5:12).
It can be easy for us to vilify the Jews for missing the entire point of Jesus’s healing the invalid. Yet, if I am honest with myself, am I not like the Jews? Am I more concerned about fasting than God’s bigger picture? Am I more upset about my authority on what to fast from than about God’s authority over my life? And am I so blinded to what I want God to do for me during Lent than to what God wants to do?
Jesus himself said that he could do nothing of his accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. And the authority the Father has given to Jesus is to give eternal and abundant life to whoever he wills (Jn 5:21).
Lent is not so much about the dying to our fleshly selves, but the continual submission of our own authorities over our lives to the God’s authority in our lives (Jn 5:24). When we do that, we continue to have eternal life. And as sons of daughters of God, we can share this eternal life of God with others, through the Lenten practise of almsgiving, which is lovingly supporting others in need practically, with food, money, etc. This is how God’s authority and eternal life are shown to the needy around us.
Ps Barnabas 🙏