“I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me”
Both readings today show that the one who follows God will be tested, persecuted, and plotted against by those who are blinded by sin.
The Book of Wisdom says, “Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings … [M]erely to see him is a hardship for us … With revilement and torture let us put him to the test … Let us condemn him to a shameful death … These were their thoughts, but they erred; for their wickedness blinded them, and they knew not the hidden counsels of God ….”
The Gospel says Jesus did not at first wish to travel to Judea “because the Jews were trying to kill him.” Jesus’ enemies thought the true Christ would come from a place they didn’t know (even though they expected the true Christ to be born in Bethlehem, they believed he would remain away from public life until he manifested himself). Since his enemies thought they knew where Jesus came from, they believed he was not the true Christ.
In both readings, the wicked judge the “just one” blindly and seek to kill him. They think they know God’s ways, but their turning away from God, their slavery to sin, prevents them from seeing what God has revealed through his prophets and in Jesus Christ, his Son, who stands right in front of them. Recall, God’s ways are not our ways. To understand God’s ways we must see with his eyes. If we are slaves to sin, then we are blind, but there is hope for the repentant sinner. God does not abandon us.
Today’s Mass Collect prayer says in part:
O God, who have prepared fitting helps for us in our weakness, grant we pray, that we may receive their healing effects with joy and reflect them in a holy way of life.
What are “fitting helps for us in our weakness”? They are the Sacraments and other graces God pours out onto his Church today and every day, including in the form of indulgences that I wrote about earlier this week.
Just today, Pope Francis gave the faithful a special blessing in his Urbi et Orbi address. If you missed it, I ask you to read the following article and consider Pope Francis’ call to reprioritize our lives: Amid ‘thick darkness’ of coronavirus, Pope says it’s time to choose what really matters.
Casciaro, Jose Maria., ed. The Navarre Bible: New Testament. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2008.
Cole, Jeffrey, ed. Daily Roman Missal. 7th ed. Woodridge: Midwest Theological Forum, Inc., 2012.
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. Saint Joseph Edition of The New American Bible. personal size ed. New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Corp., 2011.
Hahn, Scott, ed. Catholic Bible Dictionary. New York: Doubleday, 2009.
Powell, Mark Allan, ed. The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. 3rd ed. New York: HarperOne, 2011.