Daily Reflection – Mar 16, 2018
Friday 16 March 2018
First Reading: WIS 2:1A, 12-22
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
PS 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 AND 23
Gospel Reading: JN 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
Today’s Note: Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Jesus moved about within Galilee;
he did not wish to travel in Judea,
because the Jews were trying to kill him.
But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.
But when his brothers had gone up to the feast,
he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.
Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said,
“Is he not the one they are trying to kill?
And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him.
Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ?
But we know where he is from.
When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.”
So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said,
“You know me and also know where I am from.
Yet I did not come on my own,
but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.
I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.”
So they tried to arrest him,
but no one laid a hand upon him,
because his hour had not yet come.
Merely to see him is a hardship for us. (Wisdom 2:14)
Do you know someone whose life seems so together that you can’t bear being around him or her? Finances? In perfect order. Kids? All honor students with good manners. Appearance? Not a hair out of place and not a single pound overweight. Home? Tastefully decorated and always immaculate. Each bit of “perfection” seems to highlight your own shortcomings and makes you feel more inadequate.
That’s one way to understand how the people in today’s first reading responded to “the just one” in their midst (Wisdom 2:12). They couldn’t measure up, and in their envy, they sought to rid themselves of the reminder of their failures.
We are coming near the end of Lent. In the next couple of weeks, we will see dark clouds gather around Jesus as he heads toward the cross. We will see him bear his fate heroically yet humbly. Perfect servant of the Lord that he is, he will meet his persecutors and “not cry out, nor shout, nor make his voice heard in the street” (Isaiah 42:2). It can be hard to look at Jesus in these readings, mostly because it’s painful to see his suffering. But it can also be hard because we might feel our own shortcomings are exposed. Who among us could live in perfect peace and humility? Who could even come close to matching his generosity and patience? Surely we would fail at any test of faith that comes our way!
Thank God this isn’t how Jesus looks at you. He came to save you, not to condemn you. He sees you as his brother or sister, a precious and valued member of his family. He sees the good that is already in you, as well as all the good that God still wants to do for you. Yes, we may need to be sifted so that old sins and pride can give way to his blessings. But the One who does the sifting is gentle and compassionate, not harsh and judgmental. And his sifting is meant to purify us, not break us.
So don’t be afraid to take a good, long look at the cross today. Gaze at your Savior, and tell him that you want to receive his love.
“Jesus, teach me to see you with new eyes!”