Wis 2:1a, 12-22
Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
In today’s readings we see the reaction of the people who are being told their ways of doing things need to change; they are headed down a path of destruction by ignoring God’s plan for them. The people presented in the Book of Wisdom are indignant upon hearing this criticism and intend to “kill the messenger”. Jesus, the “messenger” in the Gospel, meets with the same response when he tries to live the way of God’s love. Here, however, the Pharisees know that his message has validity, so they try to find a legitimate reason to accuse him of breaking the Law, the law of their holy institution.
Difficult as it is to accept, we are really no different than these people in Scripture. The readings, during this season of Lent, remind us that we too need to assess our lives and consider the direction in which we are headed. The sacrament of Reconciliation offers us an opportunity to do just that. We ask ourselves questions like: “Do I neglect to invite God into my life each day in prayer? Am I aware of the needs of others? Do my actions have a positive effect or negative effect on others? Am I conscientious about my concern for the environment? How attentive am I to my own needs: do I take care of my physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing?” We celebrate God’s unconditional love for us in communion with others and our awareness of God’s love for us empowers us to forgive ourselves, to forgive others and to be transformed in the peace of the risen Christ.
Lord, grant us the courage to look carefully and honestly at our lives so that we may change what needs to be changed and live in the light of your love.
Today we remember St. Toribio of Mogrovejo who, as Archbishop of Lima, Peru, worked tirelessly to defend the rights of the native Indians. He founded schools, hospitals and churches and also the first seminary in the New World. A contemporary of St. Rose of Lima, he is also the patron of Latin American bishops.
- Alice Smith has been a part of Holy Family’s women’s retreat ministry for many years. She lives with her husband on Cape Cod.