Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Reading 1 Jer 11:18-20
Gospel Jn 7:40-53
Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said, "This is truly the Prophet." Others said, "This is the Christ." But others said, "The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he? Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David's family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?"
President Obama was subject to the 'birther' movement which questioned the legitimacy of his presidency amid doubts over his birthplace. The scriptures today confirm the writer of Ecclesiastes that "there is nothing new under the sun".
Jesus taught with wisdom and authority ("never before has anyone spoken like this man") and performed great signs (giving sight to the man born blind, making the lame man walk) yet this was not sufficient evidence for the chief priests and Pharisees. They doubted the legitimacy of his claim because he was a Galilean and not from Judea (when in fact he was born in Bethlehem and of the house of David).
It seemed that God would have to play by their rules. Isn't that typical of our all too human hubris? In today's Gospel we hear nothing from Jesus but a lot about him and it comes down to the choice we all have to make: is Jesus the Son of God or not? The crowd, guards, chief priests and Pharisees all had made their choices, "Then each went to his own house."
I just addressed a youth group on this at a retreat a few hours ago. Is choosing Christ difficult? Yes because so many voices are saying otherwise. Is choosing Christ easy? Yes because his way is always profoundly better than ours.
However we experience, hard or easy, it we have to choose. Do we accept his words and signs as truth or are we asking for proof of birth before we believe?
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.