Wisdom 2:1a, 12-22
Psalm 34:17-21, 23
John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
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.
Good News Reflection:
When you attend a meeting at church, do you know who sent you? Do you realize you were sent there by the Father? What about when you attend a meeting at work? Same thing; God has sent you. Or when you visit a sick friend or help a neighbor or stand up for the rights of unborn children or take canned goods to the food pantry or post an uplifting message on Facebook or tell others about the importance of being good stewards of natural resources — God has sent you.
If what you do is helpful, if it’s loving, if it’s good, it was God who gifted you, commissioned you and sent you. No other credentials matter. Regardless of any college degree, which church you belong to, what position you have in that church, or the kind of neighborhood you live in, it’s insignificant where you came from. All that counts is that God sent you.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus was judged according to the town that he came from. The unbelievers justified their skepticism by using a popular theory, which was not scripture-based, about how to identify the Messiah.
What excuses have you heard people use to justify not listening to you and believing your faith?
None of us are guiltless of this. What excuses do we use when we don’t want to accept an unpleasant Church teaching?
Those who judge us as wrong for our faith do not know the God of our faith. Those who judge us as incompetent for a task, because we lack the “proper” credentials, haven’t asked God about it.
Young people are often overlooked for parish committees because of their age, and the disabled and elderly are often misjudged as unable. Parish missions and retreats I give are not as well attended as they could be, because I’m a lay woman, not a priest.
One day a lady told me that she almost didn’t return for the second night of a course I was teaching in her church because I didn’t wear makeup. She had judged me as not knowing my topic because I didn’t look the way she expected a professional to appear! However, praise be to God, she listened to the Father and soon realized that he had sent me. Her openness to God enabled her to grow in new ways.
And we’d better be careful not to judge those who judge us! God likes to sneak up on us and provide guidance through the most unlikely people.
Today, make the commitment to keep your eyes on the Father at all times. Whether you are being judged or are doing the judging, listen to the Father. What’s considered credible in the world’s perception is often not credible at all. God uses the in-credible to accomplish his works. If you’re feeling inadequate or wrongly judged, remember that you are “in-credible” — in God you are very credible!
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for tenderly gazing at me despite my sinfulness. Grant me the grace to recognize You in every situation. Amen.
© 2017 by Terry A. Modica