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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Reflection: 2020-03-28 Saturday 4th Week of Lent

Jeremiah 11:18-20; Psalm 7; John 7:40-53
The First Reading shows the how Jeremiah discovered the plans of his enemies to kill him. Instead of hiding, Jeremiah turned to God and begs God to save him: O Lord of hosts, who judge righteously, who try the heart and the mind, let me see your retribution upon them, for to you I have committed my cause. This is a lesson on trusting the Lord. When we do what God wants, people will hate us and not being content, they will plan to destroy us. This is a sad fact of faith. We see this in the Gospel today, where Jesus was teaching in the Temple. Many were drawn to him, thinking he is a prophet. Some think he is the Messiah. This got so bad the chief priests and Pharisees sent the Temple police to arrest him and stop him from teaching because Jesus did not fit their idea of the Messiah.
The chief priests and Pharisees did not bother to find out more about Jesus. They rightly thought Jesus could not be the Messiah because he was from Galilee. But if they had taken the time to learn about Jesus, they would discover he was born in Bethlehem and is a descendant of David. So they judged Jesus according to their understanding of him and later, will plot to kill him.
The sad reality is when we stand for our faith, people will hate us and plan evil things against us, not because of what we do, but because of what they think we stand for. Many will tell us how we are to live our lives, even quoting Scripture, when in fact, they have not really understood what Scripture really means. They have interpreted Scripture and judged it to mean what they want and expect us to follow their understanding. And when we do not agree with them, they judge us and will attempt to bully us and silence us.
For us, the appropriate response is shown by Jeremiah: to trust in the Lord. The Responsorial Psalm gives us an appropriate prayer: O Lord my God, in you I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me. In times when people misunderstand us and plot to do violence against us, we trust in the Lord and stand firmly in him. This is easier said than done. I personally do not even know if I can do this. But we do what we can and rely on the grace of God to help us in our time of need.
How does all this apply to our situation today?
We are all locked and quarantined because of a virus that will harm us if we are not careful. In the midst of this danger, we do every practical thing to be safe and healthy. But we can only do so much. We remember, it is God who keeps us safe. Our good health comes from God. This does not mean we become reckless and throw all caution to the wind. But this reminds us that God is the source of life. If (and I pray this will not happen), we should be infected by the virus, we rely on the doctors are medical caregivers for help, but ultimately, it is the Lord on whom we trust. God will do what he wants and how he wants. The important thing is to trust in the Lord. He is our refuge.

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