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1ST APRIL 2022

A Call to be Courageous

Wis 2:1a,12-22, Ps 34: 17-18,19-20, 21, 23, Jn 7: 1-2, 10.25-30

In today’s gospel Jesus surprises the crowds when they find Him preaching in the temple precincts during the feast of tabernacles. They are shocked to see Jesus because of His courage in defying authority and He is teaching openly to people. And so a thought suddenly strike them: “Could the authorities realize that He is the Messiah?,” Jesus is able to accomplish God’s will throughout His time in Jerusalem, in spite of the increasing hostility to His message and mission, rejection, verbal harassment and even death threats. Jesus does not let His fear conquer Him. He takes risks because of His love of the Father and the Father is with Him.

On this Friday of Lent we sense the impending suffering and death of Jesus. We realize that His “hour of glory” is coming, but not quite yet. Jesus’ preaching is challenging His adversaries and they seek ways to destroy Him.

Jesus senses the opposition from the religious leadership. At first He tries to be a little less obvious in His proclamation of the good News during a Jewish festival in Jerusalem, but He ends up speaking openly. Yet, since His hour of glory is not fully upon Him, He is not apprehended.

Today I would like us to ponder on how people react to Jesus, the truly Just One, the true Son of God. He comes to speak the Light of the Truth, since He is the Light and the Truth. Those who walk in darkness and lies, however, cannot handle the Light and the Truth. Rather than change from their way of wickedness, darkness and lies, they try to do away with the Just One.

Courage is not the absence of fear. It is doing what it takes despite our fear. Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared. It takes courage to refrain from gossip when others delight in it, to stand up for the absent person who is being abused. It takes courage to live honestly within your means and not dishonestly on the means of others. It takes courage to live according to your own convictions, to deny yourself what you cannot afford, to love your neighbor as yourself, to follow the example of our risen Lord.

As Jesus is seen in the Gospels, He is willing to challenge people with the Light and the Truth, even if it means His own persecution. He knows that God, will watch over Him even in the midst of opposition, suffering, and death. He realizes that His “hour of glory” would include both His crucifixion and His resurrection and He is willing to proclaim the message until that hour comes.

The message of Jesus, and his life and death, shows us that those who keep trusting in God and remain faithful to the ways of God will experience God’s vindication. God will not ultimately abandon his faithful ones, those who are faithful to the ways of his Son whom he sent into the world for our sakes.

Just like Jesus, we should be courageous enough to preach His word and His good news of the Kingdom to other people. It is because God’s love will help us conquer everything. God’s love can turn fear to strength. The example of Jesus teaches us to entrust our lives to divine providence. All things work for the good of those who trust in the Lord. God will always provide for the needs of his children. The only thing we need to do is simply trust and have courage.


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