Daily Reflection – Mar 18, 2016
Friday 18 March 2016
First Reading: Jeremiah 20:10-13
In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice
Gospel Reading: John 10:31-42
Today’s Note: Day of Penance
Today’s Saint: St Cyril of Jerusalem
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.”
Jesus answered them,
“Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, ‘You are gods”‘?
If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came,
and Scripture cannot be set aside,
can you say that the one
whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world
blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me;
but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me,
believe the works, so that you may realize and understand
that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
Then they tried again to arrest him;
but he escaped from their power.
He went back across the Jordan
to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained.
Many came to him and said,
“John performed no sign,
but everything John said about this man was true.”
And many there began to believe in him.
When they came to the place that is called the Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said: “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
This may be the most radical word that Jesus ever spoke. “Father, forgive them….” Because it is so radical and because it is the prayer of Stephen when he was being stoned, this tradition surely belongs to Luke and his community. Many congregations of Christians remember the “seven last words” of Jesus as part of their good Friday service. How then can Christians be so intolerant of Muslims, Jews and other religions when their own “pioneer in the faith” (Hebrews 12: 1-2) leads them to radical forgiveness? Pray for yourself, for many times you do not know what you do. Pray for those who have hurt you. Ask for the grace not for ‘What would Jesus do’? but the grace to let his forgiveness, his mercy flow through you.
You are our leader and Lord, bloody and in pain throughout your body. Do not let us add to your pain by our refusal to accept those who do not believe as we do. You are Lord of ALL!