Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday of the Fourth Week in Lent

(Wisdom 2:1a.12-22; John 7:1-2.10.25-30)

In their quest to understand others, people say things like that they “know where the person is coming from.”  They mean that the person’s different way of thinking can be attributed to her cultural background.  In today’s gospel the Jerusalemites think that they have Jesus figured out because he comes from Galilee.

Jesus, however, has other origins besides his Galilean upbringing.  He was sent by God to accomplish the work of human redemption.  This truth will not be patent until he rises from the dead, but his followers perceive it now.   Yet God is always acting behind the scene as it were.  The passage implies that God prohibits the authorities from arresting Jesus because, as it reads, “his hour had not yet come.”

We may feel tempted to see Jesus as another human being.  We may want to say that he garnered stories of field and fishing through his experiences in Galilee.  We may credit him with heroic virtue because of an unusually strong mother.  And then we may fall in line with modernists who deny Jesus’ divinity.  If we are to maintain our Christian identity, we must resist the temptation.  The Church stakes everything on Jesus’ divine nature.  It prompted him to sacrifice all for human redemption, and it assured him of an eternal destiny.  This nature has been bestowed on us, not by birth but by the grace of Baptism.