Thursday's Gospel: A Change of Perspective

Gospel for Thursday in the 2nd Week of Easter, and commentary.

Gospel (Jn 3:31-36)

He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth belongs to the earth, and of the earth he speaks; he who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony; he who receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit; the Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.


This brief Gospel passage present us with words of Saint John the Baptist. The main theme is the relationship between the Father and the Son, and the very special testimony that “he who comes from above,” Christ, offers us of the Father.

All the prophets – including John the Baptist, as the last of them – bore witness to the light. But they were not the light (cf. Jn 1:7-8). Christ is the light of the world not simply because he speaks the words of God, but because he truly is the Word of God.

Gaining height means achieving a greater perspective. Jesus’ superiority is that of the one who is from on high, who has come from heaven and seen things as they truly are.

A few days ago, during Holy Week, we contemplated Jesus hanging on the tree of Calvary, also a high place. Raised on high, he had more perspective than those below him. A person who suffers deeply understand life more deeply. A person “nailed” to a cross has the opportunity to observe reality as God looks at it from heaven. But it always depends on whether we accept it or not.

The superiority that Jesus offers us is attained not by dominating others, but by carrying our cross to our personal Calvary. Believing in the Son of God means following him to the end.

“If anyone wants to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” (cf. Mk 8:34). Our faith entails following Christ in this way. Therefore, in a certain sense, faith is a change of perspective, which does not depend so much on how far we see, but on the height to which we allow Christ to raise us.

Pablo Erdozáin