Posted by: livingscripture | March 24, 2012

Fourth Saturday of Lent

From the Word of the Day

“So the Pharisees answered them, ‘Have you also been deceived?  Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?  But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”

                                                       John 7: 47             

How should we live this Word

Today’s Gospel returns to the argument about Jesus identity and background and the Messiah’s.  Many of the people were attracted to Him and receive Him as a Prophet or the Messiah.  This is why the guards did not succeed in arresting Him.  They too are attracted by His words.  The leaders of the Priests and the Pharisees fear a mass demonstration in favor of Jesus as the Messiah of Israel.  They foresee a possible oppressive reaction on the part of the Romans.

Confronted with this scenario, the religious leaders forget their duty as the People’s spiritual guides.  They do not do what the law requires in order to justly judge the veracity or falsity of Jesus’ words and actions.  They do not scrutinize the Scriptures to confirm or negate His affirmations and His mysterious power.  They do not seek to dialog with Him in order to understand better.  The confrontations they provoked were aimed at making Him fall into their traps.  Only Nicodemus’ voice is raised to protest, but they do not want to listen to him.  The members of the Sanhedrin leave for their homes lost in their own thoughts and convinced that He must be done away with.

Surely the religious leaders find themselves in an unenviable position.  Whatever action they might take, would have consequences.  Forced to make a choice, there is at first the temptation to wait and never make a decision.  Or else they can compromise themselves, ignoring their responsibility and the truth itself and thus risk opposing God.

How many times in human history is the latter choice taken!  Many evils are done for the ‘good’ of the people.

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask the Lord to help me learn to listen, dialog, and understand another’s action before passing judgment.

Lord Jesus, You probe minds and hearts.  O just God, help me to read my existence and the history of the world in the light of Your Word, of Your eternal truth. 

The voice of Hugo Vanni, Jesuit

It is as though Jesus would say to the assembly, “I know you would desire Me, and I quickly come.  But look at history.  You will find it empty of Me but also full of Me.  You would find many situations, much generosity hidden that has my style and my mark.  They are fragments of Me grafted onto history.

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