SATURDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT

April 6, 2019

Jeremiah 11:18-20 

 

It was the Lord who made it known to me, and I knew;
    then you showed me their evil deeds.
But I was like a gentle lamb
    led to the slaughter.
And I did not know it was against me
    that they devised schemes, saying,
“Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,
    let us cut him off from the land of the living,
    so that his name will no longer be remembered!”
But you, 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.

 

 

Psalm 7: 1-2, 8-11 

 

O Lord my God, in you I take refuge;
    save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me,

 

or like a lion they will tear me apart;
    they will drag me away, with no one to rescue.

The Lord judges the peoples;
    judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness
    and according to the integrity that is in me.

 

O let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
    but establish the righteous,
you who test the minds and hearts,
    O righteous God.

 

God is my shield,
    who saves the upright in heart.

 

God is a righteous judge,
    and a God who has indignation every day.

 

 

John 7:40-53 

 

When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, “This is really the prophet.” Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But some asked, “Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” So there was a division in the crowd because of him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not arrest him?” The police answered, “Never has anyone spoken like this!” Then the Pharisees replied, “Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law—they are accursed.” Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them, asked, “Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?” They replied, “Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.”

Then each of them went home. 

 

(NRSVCE)

 

Meditation

 

We wonder why the Pharisees hated Jesus so much. It is understandable that they were jealous of Jesus’ popularity. Perhaps the Gospel dialogue explains that in part, it was that he defied their expectations and made them look like fools.They felt certain of where a prophet was going to arise and had a certain idea of who the Messiah was going to be and how he was going to act. He should have been more like them. Instead, Jesus argued with them and they could not control him. And their response was to kill him. 

 

In the same way the Pharisees could not see past their own ideas of God and  mercy, we encounter people who make up their own minds about what is good and what is right and as Christians, we incur their wrath. We are misunderstood and treated as enemies when we contradict what other people want to claim as rights. We make them feel like fools when we remind them of God's law. 

 

Then there are times when we too can we fail to see past our own ideas and plans. We may covet and be angry that God does not give us what we want. We may desire success in a worldly way yet see that it eludes our efforts. Rather than surrender and wait patiently for God's Will, we go ahead of the Lord, effectively casting Him aside. 

 

Today, what are the things you cannot let go? Is there a plan, a thought, a hurt, an impulse, you cannot seem to surrender to the Lord? Think on the power of  Jesus in all the fruits of his ministry and ask for the courage to believe in God’s Will for your life instead of your own. 

 

 

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