Lord, we pray thee that thy grace may always precede and follow us, and make us continually to be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. BCP 183
John 8:12-20 CEV
Once again Jesus spoke to the people. This time he said, “I am the light for the world! Follow me, and you won’t be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life.”
The Pharisees objected, “You are the only one speaking for yourself, and what you say isn’t true!”
Jesus replied, “Even if I do speak for myself, what I say is true! I know where I came from and where I am going. But you don’t know where I am from or where I am going. You judge in the same way that everyone else does, but I don’t judge anyone. If I did judge, I would judge fairly, because I would not be doing it alone. The Father who sent me is here with me. Your Law requires two witnesses to prove that something is true. I am one of my witnesses, and the Father who sent me is the other one.”
“Where is your Father?” they asked.
“You don’t know me or my Father!” Jesus answered. “If you knew me, you would know my Father.”
Jesus said this while he was still teaching in the place where the temple treasures were stored. But no one arrested him, because his time had not yet come.
Many, my beloved, are the true testimonies concerning Christ. The Father bears witness from heaven of His Son: the Holy Spirit bears witness, descending bodily in the likeness of a dove: the Archangel Gabriel bears witness, bringing good tidings to Mary: the Virgin Mother of God bears witness: the blessed place of the manger bears witness…Symeon bears witness, who received Him in his arms, and said, ‘Now Lord, let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared before the face of all people.’ Anna, also, the prophetess, a most devout widow, of austere life, bears witness of Him. John the Baptist bears witness, the greatest among the Prophets, and leader of the New Covenant, who in a manner united both Covenants in Himself, the Old and the New. Jordan is His witness among rivers; the sea of Tiberias among seas: blind and lame bear witness, and dead men raised to life, and devils saying, ‘What have we to do with you, Jesus? We know You, who You are, the Holy One of God.” Winds bear witness, silenced at His bidding: five loaves multiplied into five thousand bear Him witness…
His former enemies bear witness, of whom the blessed Paul is one…the Twelve Apostles are His witnesses, having preached the truth not only in words, but also by their own torments and deaths…and all the Gentile converts bear witness, by dying for His sake, whom they never saw with eyes of flesh…If there is anyone who formerly believed not, let him now believe…You are called Christian: be tender of the name…’Let your good works shine before men.’
— St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures
Prayer of Response
O Jesus, your witness is great! Help us, your servants to become a more faithful witness to your name. Help us to purge ourselves from evil and the sin that so easily entangles us. Assist us in purity and love and grant that we may be worthy to be called your sons and daughters. Amen.