FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
MARCH 24, 2023 Fourth FRIDAY of Lent
WORD of the DAY
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. (John 7: 1-2/10/25-30)
“How shall I live this Word?
In the seventh chapter, the Gospel of John continues to describe a scenario of strong tension towards Jesus which corresponds to a dramatic tone of the narration. In these verses, as in the entire chapter, the theme of misunderstanding emerges. This was the experience that Jesus had. First of all, it is the brothers, that is, the closest relatives of the same clan, with whom one lived and grew up together, who do not believe in Him and provoke Him. Not only that, they claim to suggest to Him what He should do.
Thus, just as we experience failure in life, we too experience incomprehension, rejection, even sometimes we are mocked and humiliated. Sometimes it is precisely the people who are next to us who become our adversaries, our judges. We are sorry when opinions about us are not positive or conflicting. This is Jesus’ experience: some believe that He is good, others that He is someone who deceives people. Jesus does not allow Himself to be crushed by these misunderstandings and refusals. He clearly has His identity, He knows where He comes from and where He goes, He deeply knows the love of the Father and knows what the Father’s plan is for Him. He bears witness to this with His head held high.
Help me, Lord to experience moments of misunderstanding or rejection as an opportunity to join You and bear witness to You.
The Voice of Henri Amiel, Philosopher
Being misunderstood by the very ones we love is a bitter chalice, the cross of our life. This is why greater people have on their lips that painful and sad smile that makes us marvel.
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