Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Reading 1 Wis 2:1a, 12-22
Gospel Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
"Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him." These were their thoughts, but they erred; for their wickedness blinded them, and they knew not the hidden counsels of God; neither did they count on a recompense of holiness nor discern the innocent souls' reward."
The passage from our first reading today foretells the mindset or should I say the 'heartset' of the religious leaders that Jesus encountered: "Their wickedness blinded them".
"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..."
As a little child my mother would send me to the corner shop for an item or items. I would say "Mr. Stephen, mom wants..." and he would give it to me. No money passed but he would write it down on a slip of paper he had on a wire hook. It was the credit tab I realized much later. But Mr. Stephen knew me and more importantly he knew who sent me. That relationship was built on solid evidence of my mother's trustworthiness and so he accepted me, a mere child, as messenger.
But as it was then so it is now: their wickedness blinded them. We would persecute truth as being offensive: "To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us," as we hear in the first reading.
Sin and self-delusion often walk hand in hand but per the warnings of my native country, Trinidad/Tobago, "God don't sleep" and "God don't like ugly", the latter referring not to physical appearance but a deformity of heart and deeds that will bring retribution.
Lent says "be warned".
The Season of Lent is a special time for us to slow down, look inward and make the necessary changes to truly become an Easter people.