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Friday, March 27, 2020

Reflection: 2020-03-27 Friday 4th Week of Lent

Wisdom 2:1, 12-22; Psalm 34; John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
The First Reading ends with several reasons why the wicked plan to kill the righteous: they were led astray. The wicked probably had good intentions when they do what they do. But these good intentions are normally seen from their perspective, it is good for them and they do not care about others. Which is why the First Reading tells us they were led astray. They were not properly formed so that all they are concerned about is what they want and how things benefit them. The First Reading gives us several reasons for this: their wickedness blinded them; they do not know the secret purposes of God, nor hoped for the wages of holiness, nor discern the prize for blameless souls. And when we read the First Reading, we see what this looks like: they do not want to be corrected of their sins. They do not want to know God and they would not accept what God has planned for them. They want people to encourage and join them in their sins. There is a sense of superiority in them that they think they know more than God or those who walk in the ways of God. So they silence people who do not agree with them, by plotting against them and killing them!
The Gospel today shows us how this happened to Jesus. He avoided Judea because the leaders were plotting to kill him. They do not want to listen to Jesus because they have their own ideas of how God should work, how the Messiah should behave, and Jesus does not fit their image of God or Messiah. To them, Jesus is a dangerous distraction to their way of life and belief, so they plot to kill him. But despite their plots, Jesus proclaims You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me. With this, Jesus contrasts himself from the wicked as described in the First Reading. Jesus is not concerned about himself. He points to the Father and he calls people to himself because he is the One who knows God. Because Jesus says he knows God, the leaders plotted to kill him.
How is this related to us today?
God calls us in the Person of Jesus, to come to him. The wicked are blinded by their wickedness. Jesus calls us to himself so we can see him. The wicked do not know the secret purpose of God. Jesus calls us to himself, so he can reveal to us the love of God, his plan for our good, his plan for us to live as his children. The wicked do not hope for the wages of holiness. They do not want to live for God. But Jesus calls us to live for him, because it is only by living for Jesus that we can live the life God has planned for us. The wicked do not consider the prize of blameless souls. Their vision is only the here and now and all that matters is life here. They feast because tomorrow they die. There is no hope in their life because there is no God. Jesus calls us to him because our hope for eternal life is in him. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the One who can give fullness of life.
If you are searching for meaning in life, if you are tired of living without purpose, if you want more in your life, you are searching for Jesus. If you think you have done something evil that cannot be forgiven, if you think you do not deserve to be loved, come to Jesus. The Responsorial Psalm tells us The Lord is near to broken hearts. You are loved by God. You are precious to God. You deserve to be loved by God and not anyone else because God wants to take you as his child. Jesus calls you to come to him. If you wish to come to Jesus, say this prayer:
Lord Jesus, I come to you, empty and searching. I ask you to heal me, to wash my sins away. You heal the broken-heart. Heal my heart. Lead me to you as I surrender my life to you. Give me your joy, your peace, your love. I trust you Lord.

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