In everyday life, it is easy to be overcome by feelings of vulnerability and helplessness. We live in a world where we are constantly criticized for our actions and choices, and in modern times, this is especially apparent in regards to religion and faith. However, today’s readings offer us boundless hope in the form of God’s guidance and presence, both in our lives and the lives of those who mock us. The first reading highlights the community God creates through bringing people together and cleansing us all of our sins, so as God promises, “that they may be my people and I may be their God.” We are made further aware of God’s love for us as the responsorial psalm assures us, “The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.” Just as a shepherd will guard his vulnerable sheep, so too will the Lord be by our side if any harm comes our way. We then see in the Gospel that Jesus too endured His share of ridicule, as the Jews and Pharisees admonished Him for spreading God’s Word and were determined to kill Him because of His actions. As we enter into Holy Week, let us be reminded of how Jesus opposed the people who criticized Him so that we could be saved, and particularly try to model His holy actions in our lives.
Lord, please give us strength to overcome the criticisms we constantly face, and help guide us to find refuge in Your endless love and acceptance.
Marci Wood, ‘14
First Reading: Ezekiel 37:21-28
Psalm: Jeremiah 31:10-13
Gospel: John 11:45-56
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website