Mar 22, 2024


Most of us might define blasphemy as the taking of the Lord’s name in vain. We know that we must not do this, and we accept the third of the ten commandments which makes this clear: “Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.”

Now read the opening of today’s gospel and notice Jesus’ definition of blasphemy:

The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.
Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father.
For which of these are you trying to stone me?”
The Jews answered him,
“We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy.
You, a man, are making yourself God.”

According to Jesus, we blaspheme when try to be God ourselves. This was the temptation for Adam and Eve in Eden. The serpent deceived them saying “For God knows that when you eat from the tree your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God...” (Gen 3)

Of course we know better than to call ourselves God, but we often act as if everything depends on us when in reality everything depends on our co-operation with God. When we live in relationship with Jesus Christ who is God-with-us we can relax.

Thanks be to God we humans don’t have to be God.

You might have heard the bedtime prayer of Pope John XXIII who in the late 1950’s early ’60’s must have carried his fair share of worries for the church and world.

At the end of a long day full of worries he would pray: “Well Lord, it’s your church, I’m off to bed!”

A few years ago at the annual Rimini meeting in Italy the most popular t-shirt on sale carried the caption:

“There is a God
but it’s not you.




Take an initiative and initiate a cafe gathering, or join these gatherings:

Monday 25 March 2024 10.00am (& every Monday). Moku Cafe. Bush Inn Centre, Waimairi Road,  Christchurch. Trish

Thursday 11 April 2024 10.00am (put the date in your diary) Stumble Inn, 200 Mangorei Road, New Plymouth. Joan

Email me to add another:

After your gathering send a sentence or two about the encounter.


  1. You’ve all made me think that maybe when popes go to bed we could do our share, 🙂 as long as we share our load too with our daily journeying companions, prayerfully, humbly, gratefully. A blessed, relaxed weekend to you all.

  2. I needed to hear this today. Like the t-shirt saying.

  3. Love a message that appears to be light-hearted, then really delivers. Anyone else thinking that the tee-shirt would be a great fund-raiser for their parish/wider community-in-need?

  4. Just what I needed today! THANK YOU! I will pray to ‘Let God.’

  5. Thank You John – I laughed out loud – and immediately my dark thoughts and general ill humour disappeared … Still plenty of work to do on the “being able to relax as Jesus has it covered” aspect though.. Thanks for these wonderful reflections – they are such a source of hope and inspiration !

  6. We forget to relax in this overwhelming world. We forget that God is there. So, yup, don’t be anxious and give it up to God. Thank you for this reflection Father John.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts

a friend within

a friend within

Let’s learn both from Anton’s life and from John’s reflection to seek more passionately the ultimate relationship

a thin place

a thin place

Awareness of Thin Places has become a sabbatical theme for me.

Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi

Orvieto is a beautiful Italian hill-top settlement where all roads lead to the magnificent medieval Cathedral.

growing young

growing young

A simple experiment will give a more personal experience of the life that is on offer.