Wisdom 2:1, 12-22;Psalm 34:17-21, 23; John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
4th Week of Lent
Let us put him to the test. (Wisdom 2:19)
The Book of Wisdom was probably written by a faithful Jew in Alexandria, Egypt, about one hundred years before the coming of Christ. Yet despite its early date, parts of this book, like today’s reading, sound amazingly close to a description of Jesus. It speaks about a man who has knowledge of God and even dares to call himself a “child of the Lord” (Wisdom 2:13). And, like Jesus, this man has some enemies who are trying to trap him in his words and even kill him (2:19-20).
In addition to this passage, the other Mass readings for today remind us that there will always be a certain amount of opposition to Christ and to his people. In the Responsorial Psalm, for instance, we hear that “many are the troubles of the just, but the Lord delivers from them all” (Psalm 34:20). And in today’s Gospel, we read of a failed attempt to arrest Jesus at the feast of Tabernacles because “his hour had not yet come” (John 7:30).
Yes, Jesus was persecuted and put to death, but death did not keep him down. God rescued him and raised him up! Just so, God will not let you endure something that he will not help you overcome. He will strengthen you. He will give you grace. He will raise you up.
Jesus called us to be his ambassadors. He wants us to share the good news with everyone we meet. This is an exciting call, but it also has its challenges. Sometimes our efforts at evangelization will be met with ridicule and resistance—some of which may be quite forceful. But if we remain determined to share the gospel with love and not self-righteousness, with joy and not anger, we will be blessed abundantly. Jesus will tell us, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).
You don’t need to be a brilliant theologian or a charismatic speaker to evangelize. You don’t need to have the courage of a martyr. You just need to believe that Jesus always releases grace whenever we testify to him. And his grace has the power to sustain us even as it has the power to draw people to his side.
“Lord, comfort us as we proclaim your gospel. Give us your divine strength.”~WAU