Friday of the Fifth Week
Fear is a powerful emotion. But what would happen if our first reaction was faith rather than fear? What if we were not afraid of failure, what other’s think of us, or the future, but rather know that what truly matters is being the beloved of God, focusing on God’s will, and knowing that although the future may be uncertain, God will be with us through it all?
As we enter into these last few days before Holy Week, we find fear and distress prevalent in the readings for today. “Terror on every side! Denounce! Let us denounce him!” (Jeremiah 20:10). In the Gospel, many of the people who hear Jesus speak do not understand who Jesus truly is or His message, accusing Him of blasphemy and ready to stone Him. Fear of change, fear of something different, fear of loosening our grip on what we thought to be true and coming to understand the world in a different way can be a scary prospect. It can be difficult to give up our familiar understandings of the world when the truth calls us to make a change of heart. We often rush to judgment, make excuses, or come up with simplified answers to make sense of what we don’t want to accept as true. It is more convenient for us to hold fast to our old ways of understanding or beliefs rather than be open to truth, especially when it comes to us in unexpected places or surprising ways. Many disregarded Jesus because He was the son of a carpenter rather than the royal King they had envisioned the Messiah to be, yet His message of love, mercy and compassion made clear the truth of the Father. Those in today’s Gospel have missed Jesus’ message of love and truth despite having shown them many “good works” because they are unable to truly believe Jesus is who He says He is. How often, even now, do we know Him and yet still miss all the “good works” God places in our lives everyday? How often do we miss the full meaning of who He is because we become blinded by fear or disbelief? In what way is God calling me out of rigid ways of thinking and to be open to seeing and hearing Him in new, life-giving ways? Fear might be rampant in our world, but it does not need to be rampant in our hearts.
God of truth, lead us to see beyond our own fear and brokenness and discover the truth of Your inexhaustible love and forgiveness. Do not let us miss Your message of truth and remind us that nothing is beyond Your mercy.
Anna Lester, ‘98, Assistant Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry
First Reading: Jeremiah 20:10-13
Gospel: John 10:31-42