Friday - March 27
Daily Scripture Readings can be read at the United States Catholic Bishops Website:
Readings: Wisdom 2:1A, 12-22; Psalm 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 and 23, John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
Today’s Gospel reading from John struck me on two points. One, why is Jesus often acting secretly? He also went up to the Feast of Tabernacles, but not openly but as it were in secret. And in other points in scripture He’s often asking people to tell no one about what you’ve just witnessed. Why the secretiveness?
Jesus came with the greatest gift ever offered. But religious leaders hated him and would refuse his gift of salvation, no matter what he said or did. The more Jesus taught publicly, the more these religious leaders would cause trouble for him and his followers. So it was necessary for Jesus to teach and work as quietly as possible. Today (well maybe not this day due to the Covid-19) many people have the privilege of teaching, preaching and worshiping publicly with little persecution. And yet we also know that in other countries Christians are continuously being persecuted. We must offer our prayers and our support for them. We should be very grateful for the freedoms we enjoy in this country and make the most of the opportunities presented to share the Good News. Don’t keep Jesus’ message of love, forgiveness and mercy a secret.
The second tought that struck me about today’s Gospel is that Jesus knows that death awaits him and yet heads toward it. Jesus knows he is taking a risk with each step towards Jerusalem.
This simply makes me think about all of the people that are taking risks with Covid-19. Now, some are taking stupid risks – this is not the time to disregard social distancing. But I think of all of the people that realize they are taking noble risk. These are the grocery clerks, the stock boys and girls filling the shelves, the truck drivers delivering goods, the postmen and women delivering mail and packages.
Think of all the first responders; fire, police, EMTs, the National Guard. Think also, of course of the brave men and women in our healthcare system; doctors, nurses, technicians, researchers. And the list could go on and on. All of these people do realize that serious illness possibly awaits with every interaction they have with another person. And yet they persevere in their jobs by being of service to others.
We certainly praise and thank Jesus for going to the cross for our benefit. When presented with the opportunity, be sure to praise and thank the individuals that are taking risks in their day to day activities for our benefit. I’ve heard stories of noble men and women acting as heroes over the past several weeks. I’m sure we will all hear many more such stories in the weeks and months to come. Please pray for the safety and protection of everyone. Pray especially for, and be grateful to, those who take on noble risk.