March 12, 2016
Jn 7: 40-53
When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, “This is really the prophet.” Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But some asked, “Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” So there was a division in the crowd because of him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not arrest him?” The police answered, “Never has anyone spoken like this!” Then the Pharisees replied, “Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law—they are accursed.”
Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them, asked, “Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?” They replied, “Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.” Then each of them went home.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s psalm response goes: “Lord, my God, I take shelter in you.” Somewhere along life’s journey, each of us experiences moments when we realize the truth of that psalm response so vividly. Perhaps it is at a time of family crisis, or some period of challenge at school or at work. Maybe it’s simply that the pieces aren’t fitting together in my own personal situation, and I don’t know where else to turn.
These weeks of Lent remind us that Jesus always comes to us with outstretched arms….no matter the situation, whatever the need. As the temple guards say to the chief priests in today’s gospel: “No man ever spoke like this before.” As we draw closer to Holy Week, just how is it that Jesus is reaching out to me? What words within my heart, which deeper desires is Jesus percolating within my heart? And do I have the courage to reach back….to walk the way of the cross this Holy Week 2016, to welcome Jesus into my heart?
—The Jesuit prayer team
O Lord, you are the center of my life. I will always praise you, I will always serve you,
I will always keep you in my sight.
—Paul Inwood, “Center of My Life,” © 1985, OCP Publications
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