Day 101: Signs and Wonders

John 7:1-14 The Feast of Tabernacles, or Booths, is an eight-day Jewish observance that recalls the forty years that the Israelites wandered in the desert living out of their tents. After his Bread of Life discourse, many in the region of Galilee, even members of his own family, doubted Christ and urged him to attend the festival in Jerusalem to reveal his power. He did not go initially because of the growing opposition of his enemies and because it was not yet time for his Passion. Yet, despite this, he later went to Jerusalem on his own accord. (CCC 728)

Ch 7:3 His brethren: The word here indicates a wide range of maile relatives rather than brothers in the modern sense of the word. The doctrine of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, held by the Church SINCE APOSTOLIC TIMES, is not contradicted by this or any other similar reference. (CCC 500)

Ch 7:7 The world: This instance of the term describes those who attach themselves to sin. In this sense, the world is seen as a temptation to attach oneself to create things that must be conquered. (CCC 408, 2097)

Ch 7:10 Christ was a devout Jew who celebrated and participated in the great Jewish feasts and pilgrimages. Because of his devotion and obedience, he traveled to Jerusalem, even if it meant risking his arrest and Crucifixion. (CCC 583)

Ch 7:11-13 The Jews: It was not John’s intent to indict all members of the Jewish faith, neither all those alive at the time of Christ nor those living throughout history. Regrettably, much injustice and hostility against Jews over the centuries has resulted from such an interpretation. The term instead refers to the group of Jewish authorities who saw Christ as a threat and sought to kill him. 

Fear of the Jews: Rumors about the plot to kill Christ were already known, and the crowd became more cautious of being in his presence for fear of being arrested and implicated along with him. (CCC 574-575)

Ch 7:14-24 Speaking in the Temple during the feast, Christ rebutted the accusations with respect to his healing of the paralytic on the Sabbath and the charges that he was a blasphemer who disregarded the Law (cf. Jn 5). He explained that his teaching was from God. Using arguments based on rabbinical interpretation of the Law, he pointed out that if the “work” of circumcision could be performed licitly on the Sabbath, then even more licit would be a “work” of healing. In addition to a day of worship, the Sabbath is a day to honor God and to imitate his compassion and mercy by performing works of charity. (CCC 427, 581-583, 2173)

Ch 7:15 Never Studied: Young Jewish scholars traditionally studied under a well-known rabbi. As a perfect God and perfect man, Christ was completely united to his Father and, therefore, had a PERFECT GRASP OF DIVINE REVELATION. He was, therefore, able to convey God’s revelation to others with authority. (CCC 1, 514-518)

Ch 7:19 Yet none of you keeps the law: Because of his divine nature, Christ was able to fulfill the Law perfectly, but because of our fallen nature, no one can keep the Law perfectly. This is why repentance and conversion are necessary-EVEN FOR THE BAPTIZED-since Baptism does not remove our wounded nature, i.e., the effects of Original Sin. The Jewish celebration of the Feast of Yom Kippur is a day of atonement for sin (POP QUIZ!!!! What was the traditional animal used in the Yom Kippur feast and what was it called? Answer in the comment section of the Facebook Post 😁). (CCC 578)

Ch 7:25-43 Jesus fulfilled ALL of the Old Testament prophecies regarding the promised Messiah. The crowd, however, seemed not to be aware that he was born in Bethlehem (Cf. Mi 5:2) and believed he was from Galilee instead. The various views regarding Jesus’ identity-the Messiah, a prophet, or a blasphemer-reveal the wide range of expectations and interpretations the people had for the coming Messiah.

Ch 7:31-39 On the eighth and last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the high priest would draw water from the pool of Siloam and sprinkle it on the altar. During the ceremony, several verses from Ezekiel (Cf. Ez 47:1-12), referring to water flowing from the Temple, were read. Alluding to this, Christ proclaimed that he is the source of the living water. Christ is the new Temple, which was destroyed by his Crucifixion and Death on the Cross and rebuilt on the third day a reference to his Resurrection (cf. Mk 14:28). Blood and water flowed from his pierced side on the CRoss, symbolizing Baptism and the Eucharist. These verses from Ezekiel are sung on the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome, at the dedication of a Church, and while the faithful are sprinkled with holy water at the beginning of Mass during Easter Time. (CCC 694, 728)

Ch 7:33-34 Christ announced his Ascension into Heaven in a veiled manner so only those with faith would understand.

Ch 7:39 Jesus was not yet glorified: Christ promised the Holy Spirit would be given to the Church after his Ascension, when he had been glorified. The Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, infuses us with the grace to conform our lives to the life of Christ. (CCC 244, 690-691, 728, 1287, 1999)

Ch 7:44-53 The officers sent by the Jewish leaders to arrest Christ came back amazed by his teachings. Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin, was a discreet follower of Christ. He showed great courage and fortitude when he intervened with the Pharisees and argued that Christ should have a fair trial. (CCC 574-575, 588, 595)

Ch 8:1-11 The Pharisees tried to entrap Christ with a question about punishing a woman caught in adultery. If he had supported the stoning, he would have violated Roman law that forbade the Jews to exact capital punishment; if he had opposed it, the Pharisees would have said that he disregarded the Law of Moses, which called for such a punishment. Instead, Christ turned the question BACK TO THE PHARISEES, calling them to truthfulness about their own personal moral behavior. While the sin of adultery is grave, the infinite mercy of God is sufficient to forgive any sin when there is repentance and purpose of amendment. (CCC 2381, 2400)

Ch 8:7-8 Christ’s reply did not minimize the sin she committed, but rather pointed out the contradiction in her accusers; they were intent upon stoning the woman as the Law of Moses commanded, but they were also sinners and transgressors of the moral law. Rather than condemnation, they should have offered the same kind of mercy that they themselves would have desired. 

Wrote with his finger on the ground: While one can only speculate what Christ was writing, there is a connection with God’s finger writing on the tablets at Mt. Sinai (cf. Ex 31:18) and the condemnation written on the walls of King Belshazzar’s Palace (cf. Dn 5:5) (POP QUIZ!! What do you think Jesus wrote with his finger in the ground as the Pharisees asked him their questions? This is just for fun and there is no “right answer”. Give your answers in the comment section of the Facebook Group Post 😁)

. (CCC 1589, 2380)

Ch 8:11 Do not sin again: The mercy of God does not condone sin but rather compassionately recognizes repentance and grants forgiveness. The experience of Christ’s love provides an opportunity to move forward in a new life of holiness. God offers his mercy to all who, in a spirit of contrition, approach the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation seeking the forgiveness of sins. (CCC 1451-1452) (Here’s a fun new “Activity” I’ve just thought of. I’m going to call this the “Bible in a Year Study Guide Scavenger Hunt!! In this game, you will find as many examples in the 484 pages (so far...🤓) of the topic I list here. So for our INAUGURAL BIBLE IN A YEAR STUDY GUIDE SCAVENGER HUNT let’s see how many of you can name passages in Scripture or even in Fr. Mike’s reflections, what has been said so far about the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation? Find as many examples as you can! Answer in the Comments section of the Facebook Group Post 😁)

Ch 8:12-20 Christ disputed with the Pharisees again over his identity. As before, they charged him with bearing witness to himself, whereas the law required two witnesses. (cf. Dt 17:6; 19:15); he replied that his Father and he are his two witnesses. (CCC 2466)

Ch 8:12 Light of the world: Christ gave this discourse in the treasury of the Temple (Cf. Jn 8:20), where the lamps were lit during the Feast of Tabernacles. Possibly referring to this ceremony, Christ proclaimed that he is the light who brings meaning to human life through his Revelation of the truth that leads to eternal happiness. Reading and meditating on the Word of God in Scripture with the desire to know God’s will and the intention of putting it into practice leads to a profound friendship with Christ. 

Ch 8:15 According to the flesh: In this case, “flesh” signifies the limitations of human reason alone (for example, why on EARTH would anyone WANT to be a Dallas Cowboys fan??? I just don’t get it 😜), apart from the supernatural light of faith (cf. Jn 6:63). (CCC 990, 2555)

Ch 8:21-30 Only with a sincere desire for the truth and a good will is it possible to see Christ as he really is. Prayer and deeds of charity lead to a deeper knowledge of Christ and a better understanding of the supernatural truths he revealed. (CCC 547-548)

Ch 8:28 When you have lifted up the Son of man: In this reference to his Crucifixion, Christ revealed that he bears the name of God, “I am,” or YHWH (<-----POP QUIZ!!! What specific term is that called my crude arrow is pointing to has no vowels...yes, what is that called? Answer in the Comments section of the Facebook Group post 😁). The rightful place of Christ is at the summit of every human activity. (CCC 211, 653, 2812)

Ch 8:31-32 Truth will make you free: Freedom is often misunderstood as being an absolute right to act without any reference to moral standards or guidelines. True freedom, however, consists in conforming our actions to the moral law and incorporating the Gospel message into our lives. (CCC 1739-1741, 2466)

Ch 8:33 Never been in bondage: The meaning of this statement is unclear since the history of the Jews is filled with periods of enslavement and suppression. Christ, however, was referring to the slaver of sin and the freedom from sin enjoyed by children of God. Through the presumptuous sense of their own goodness, the Pharisees became blind to their own sins. (CCC 431, 588, 1739)

Ch 8:35 Slave...son: Christ came to free us from the slavery of sin and to make us children of God. This is achieved through the Sacrament of Baptism. (CCC 60, 549, 706)

Ch 8:36 The son makes you free: Christ’s redemptive Sacrifice sets us free from sins of pride, anger, lust, greed, etc., and the demonic powers of the evil one. This truth is reflected in the words of consecration in the Mass: 

“This is the chalice of my Blood,

The Blood of the new and eternal covenant,

Which will be poured out for you and for many

For the forgiveness of sins.” 

(CCC 601, 613)

Ch 8:44 Christ gave a harsh indictment to those who rejected him, comparing them to Satan, the father of lies. According to Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, Satan is a fallen angel, one who was created naturally good but who rejected God and turned to evil (cf. Lateran Council IV, DS 800), and it was through his deception that sin entered the world. Satan will be defeated, and all creation will be “freed from the corruption of sin and death” (Eucharistic Prayer IV). (CCC 391-394, 2482, 2852)

Ch 8:46 Christ is sinless, but he identified himself with the sinners by taking upon himself all the sins of the world in order to redeem the WHOLE HUMAN RACE. (CCC 574, 603)

Ch 8:51: Never see death: The faithful will experience physical death but will possess the gift of eternal life. (CCC 1843)

Ch 8:58 Before Abraham was, I am: Christ again used the identification of “I AM,” or YHWH, and all that it implies: he is eternal, meaning he has no beginning and no end’ he is one with God and he indeed IS GOD. (CCC 473, 590)

Ch 9:1-23 The blind man believed in Christ even though he could not see, and his eyes were opened. Though the Pharisees witnessed the healing, they were blinded by their ill will toward Christ and his teaching. Spiritual blindness can often result from voluntary or involuntary doubt and can be a serious sin if it is deliberately cultivated. (CCC 1850, 1852, 1855, 1859)

Ch 9:1-3 Christ rejected the notion that the man’s blindness was necessarily caused by his own sin or the sin of his parents. That sickness and misfortune were the direct result of sin was a common misconception. Although all sickness and death is ultimately rooted in our fallen nature caused by Original Sin and at times actual sins, physical ailments and all other kinds of suffering are permitted by God as a means of purification and as an opportunity for close union with Christ and his Cross. In this particular case, the misfortune of the man’s blindness became an opportunity for Christ to reveal the Glory of God. (CCC 1500-1502)

Ch 9:6 Christ often used ordinary things and gestures to work miracles that held a spiritual meaning. The Sacraments are efficacious signs-utilizing matter, form, and minister-that confer God’s grace. For example, in the Eucharist, the ordinary bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, which convey supernatural nourishment. (CCC 1151, 1504)

Ch 9:7 Go, wash: It is in the Sacrament of Baptism that our sins are washed away. The Rite of Baptism has many references to the life-giving qualities of water. (CCC 985, 2813)

Ch 9:11 As we saw earlier in the story of the Samaritan woman at the well (cf. Jn 4:7-42), the blind man’s language reflected his growing faith and understanding of the identity of Christ. Here, he referred to Christ as a man; and, as the narrative advances he will refer to him as a prophet, as “from God”, and finally as LORD. (CCC 202, 455, 2665)

Ch 9:24-41 Convinced that Christ was trespassing the Law and stubbornly refusing to acknowledge him as God, the Pharisees looked for any alternative explanation for the man’s healing to no avail. The Pharisees cast the healed man from the synagogue, an act that meant not just physically removing him from the worship space but excommunication from the congregation. However, Christ received him with exquisite mercy and compassion. (CCC 574)

Ch 9:24 Give God the praise: an oath that enjoined the blind man to tell the truth (cf. Jos 7:19). To use God’s name for a false oath or for a trivial reason is a grave sin against the Second Commandment. (CCC 2149-2155)

Ch 9:31 If anyone...God listens to him: The more we identify our will to God’s will, the more effective our prayers become. (CCC 2827)

Ch 9:34 Born in utter sin: The Church teaches that-with the unique exception of MARY-every human person is conceived with Original Sin as a consequence of the sin of Adam. This is not the same as actual, or deliberate personal, sin. Both Original Sin and all actual sins are forgiven in the Sacrament of Baptism. (CCC 397-408, 1263)

Ch 9:35-38 Not only did Christ, the Light of the World, open the man’s eyes, but he also enlightened his mind and heart so that he could make a sincere profession of faith in Christ’s divinity, demonstrating how suffering and healing can lead to conversion. (CCC 1501, 1505)

Ch 9:39-41 Christ pointedly described the difference between he blind man and the Pharisees. Those who humbly seek the truth are given the light of faith, but those who are proud and see no need for repentance blinde themselves to the truth. (CCC 588)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we thank you and we give you praise today and every day. My goodness, Lord. Father, you have given us your Son and you have given us a share in your nature. You have given us the Holy Spirit, the promised Holy Spirit that your Son promised to those who would follow him. Please pour out your Holy Spirit upon us once again, in the name of Jesus, so that our hearts may be opened to the fire of your love and our minds may be opened to your truth of who YOU are and who you are calling us to be. Lord God, help us to not ever ever be blind. The spiritual blindness that can affect every single one of us, where we refuse to see or we choose not to see where we get to the place where we would just rather not look and see the truth, to acknowledge the truth, and therefore be convicted by the truth. Lord God, help us always. Give us the strength. Give us the strength to have the courage to have open eyes in this world. Give us the strength to be able to be convicted by what we see. Convicted to act. Convicted to repent. Convicted to love those who are not loved. And to fulfill the promises that we have made. We make this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.”


If Jesus kept the Law perfectly, why then does John, in his narrative, say that Jesus broke the sabbath? According to the Pharisees he did, but performing miracles. But Jesus exposes their hypocrisy for doing works such as untying their cattle to take to water, or circumcise on the sabbath in order not to violate the Law. If those are acceptable on the sabbath, how much more are Works of Charity and Mercy? That is truly keeping the holy day of the week hallowed, because it is God's work that we accomplish.

John 7- Jesus cites the Old Testament, saying "Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water." This actually is not any particular passage he is citing, but a theme of the Scriptures. Here is a side by side between the Old Testament passages, and the New, particularly linking water flowing from the Rock and form the side of the Temple- The Rock being Christ, the Temple being his body- from which water poured out of his side on the Cross.

John 7- Some, including the Pharisees believe that the Prophets said the Christ is to come from Bethlehem, not Galilee (not even a prophet). What they didn't realize that Matthew and Luke bear witness to is Jesus was indeed born in Bethlehem. They also seemed to have overlooked ONE prophecy for Isaiah regarding Galilee- that the people there who have walked in darkness would have a great LIGHT shine on them. It'll be one chapter later in John that Jesus reveals he is the Light of the World.

John 8-Jesus says "I am the Light of the World." A theme John started his Gospel with, continued in his first epistle, and ends his Apocalypse with.

John 9- Healing the Blind Man. The passage doesn't say the blind man asked to be healed or that he believed in Jesus. Jesus just healed him out of his love and mercy. Later when he finds him, he looks on him and believes. Meanwhile, the Pharisees, whether it is jealousy or zeal for the Mosaic Law, doubt the blind man's testimony, and continue to doubt Jesus as the Messiah, regardless of performing a miracle the like of which the world has never seen. As the blind now see, those who see are spiritually blind.