Gospel Reflection – Friday, March 15, 2024 – John 7,1-2.10.25-30 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Wisdom 2,1a.12-22)

Reading from the Book of Wisdom.

The wicked say among themselves, in their false reasoning: “Let us lie in wait for the righteous, because his presence bothers us: he opposes our way of acting, he rebukes us for transgressions of the law and rebukes us for our faults against our discipline.

He claims to possess the knowledge of God and calls himself ‘son of God’. It has become a censorship of our thoughts and just seeing it is unbearable; His life is very different from that of others, and his paths are unchanging.

We are compared by him to counterfeit currency and flee from our ways as from impurities; he happily proclaims the final fate of the righteous and boasts of having God as his father. So let’s see if what he says is true, and we will see what will happen to him.

If, in fact, the righteous person is a ‘son of God’, God will defend him and deliver him from the hands of his enemies. Let us test him with insults and tortures, to see his serenity and try his patience; we will condemn him to a shameful death, because, according to his words, someone will come to his aid.”

Such are the thoughts of the wicked, but they deceive themselves; for malice makes them blind, they do not know the secrets of God, they do not expect a reward for holiness and they do not value the prize reserved for pure lives.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (John 7,1-2.10.25-30)

— PROCLAMATION of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, Jesus was traveling through Galilee. He avoided traveling through Judea because the Jews were trying to kill him. Meanwhile, the Jewish festival of Tendas was approaching. When his brothers had already gone up, he also went up to the party, not publicly but rather secretly.

Then some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said, “Isn’t this the one they are trying to kill? Behold, he speaks in public and nothing is said to him. Have the authorities actually recognized that he is the Messiah? But this one, we know where he’s from. The Christ, when he comes, no one will know where he is from.”

In a loud voice, Jesus taught in the Temple, saying: “You know me and where I come from; I did not come on my own, but he who sent me is trustworthy. You do not know him, but I know him, because I come from him, and he sent me.”

So they wanted to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come.

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, I would like to begin our reflection with a question: has it ever happened to you that you felt out of place, misunderstood or even persecuted because of your beliefs? Perhaps you have experienced times when your faith seemed to be in constant conflict with the world around you. If so, know that you are not alone. The Word of God tells us about these difficulties and offers us wisdom to face them with courage and confidence.

Our first reading, taken from the Book of Wisdom, transports us to a time when the righteous were despised and persecuted. The wicked mocked those who lived righteous lives and seemed to find joy in their affliction. We can imagine the anguish of those men and women of faith, who found themselves surrounded by a hostile society. However, even in the face of these difficulties, they remained firm, trusting in divine providence.

This ancient story resonates in our day, as we also live in a world where Christian values are often ridiculed and even attacked. As followers of Christ, we face challenges similar to those of our brothers and sisters of the past. However, like them, we must not let ourselves be discouraged by trials, but rather find strength in God to persevere.

The Gospel passage according to John presents us with the story of Jesus facing increasing opposition. He was seen as a threat by those who did not understand his message and divine purpose. They plotted against him, looking for an opportunity to silence him. But despite this imminent threat, Jesus remained faithful to the mission the Father entrusted to him.

My dears, in these two biblical passages, we find a call to remain firm in the face of adversity. The central message is clear: we are not alone in our struggles. God is with us, strengthening us and guiding us every step of the way.

Here, allow me to share a story with you. There once was a young theology student who faced a series of challenges on his journey of faith. He felt pressured by his college classmates, who mocked his piety and questioned the relevance of his beliefs. He became discouraged and began to doubt himself.

One day, during a class, the teacher asked the students to write an essay about the importance of faith in their lives. The young student, inspired by the Bible readings he had meditated on, decided to share his experience of facing opposition and remaining faithful to God.

Upon reading his essay aloud to the class, the young student realized he was not alone in his struggle. Other classmates identified with his words and also shared their own experiences of challenges and overcoming. That moment became a point of unity, a moment when faith became tangible and encouraging for everyone present.

Dear brothers and sisters, this story reminds us that our individual battles can be transformed into moments of communion and mutual strengthening. By sharing our faith experiences, we open space for others to feel encouraged and find hope in their own struggles.

In our everyday lives, we face countless situations in which we are challenged to live in accordance with our Christian convictions. Maybe it’s in the workplace, where we are tempted to compromise our values in search of success or acceptance. Perhaps it is in our relationships, where we are faced with choices that can take us away from the teachings of Christ. In times like these, it’s essential to remember that we are called to stand firm in our faith, even when the world around us seems to pressure us to give up.

A practical way to apply these principles is to seek divine wisdom through prayer and meditation on the Scriptures. Like the biblical characters who faced opposition, we can find comfort and guidance in the sacred pages. Through reading the Word of God, we are strengthened in our faith and empowered to face the challenges that come our way.

Furthermore, we must seek the support and fellowship of our brothers and sisters in faith. Christian community is a place where we can find encouragement, support, and unconditional love. By connecting with other believers, we find the strength to persevere and face the challenges that arise in our lives. Together we are stronger.

To illustrate this point, let me tell the story of a group of believers who met weekly to pray and share their faith experiences. Each member of the group had their own struggles and challenges, but together they found strength and encouragement. They shared stories of how God had worked in their lives, how they had experienced divine grace and love in the midst of difficulties. These stories became an encouragement to everyone, reminding them that they were not alone in their battles. They became a community united by faith and mutual love.

My dear ones, like these believers, we are called to form a community of love and mutual support. We are invited to reach out to others, share our faith stories, and encourage each other on our spiritual paths. When we come together in communion, we become a powerful force, capable of facing all adversities that come our way.

Our reflection today challenges us to apply these principles to our daily lives. When we face opposition and difficulties, we can find strength in God and our faith community. We can seek wisdom from the Scriptures, pray for divine guidance and support, and join our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Therefore, I invite each of you to reflect on how these biblical passages apply to your personal life. How can you remain firm in your faith in the face of adversity? In what ways can you seek divine wisdom and connect with your faith community? What are the specific challenges you face and how can you overcome them with the help of God and your brothers and sisters?

As we delve deeper into these questions, may the Holy Spirit guide and strengthen us. May He give us courage to face difficulties, wisdom to discern the path of righteousness, and love to share with those around us.

May the words we hear today inspire us to live according to the teachings of Christ, even when the society around us challenges us. May we find strength and encouragement in the Scriptures and in the community of faith. And may we be light in the world, witnessing divine love and grace through our actions and words.

May God, in his infinite kindness, bless us and keep us firm in our faith. May He guide us on our path and grant us the courage and determination to face any adversity that may arise. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us today and always.