“Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ?” (John 7:25-26)
As humans, we are social animals; we tend to blend with others socially. Due to our desire to be accepted, praised, and respected in whatever group we belong to, we tend to “play by the rules” that is to say, we tend to go with the flow even when it is sometimes against our individual opinion or conscience.
May God deliver us from the spirit of cowardice that we may stand by the truth even if we are the only ones left standing. Amen.
Some officers were sent to arrest Jesus and upon getting there, they were captivated by Jesus’ preaching. As they listened to Jesus, their hatred for him melted, they no longer saw Jesus as a public enemy deserving of death. They went back to report to the chief priests and Pharisees: “No man has ever spoken like this man.” These officers displayed unusual courage.
May God so touch the hearts of those who may have heard negative reports about us and have been sent to do us harm to repent. Amen.
Nicodemus also displayed great courage by reminding the chief priests and Pharisees of the law which states that a person is assumed innocent until he is proven guilty. “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” Nicodemus could have kept quiet but he knew the truth. He knew that Jesus is God.
May God give us the courageous spirit of Nicodemus to speak the truth and not be carried away by the popular opinion of whatever group we belong to. Amen.
Jeremiah teaches us a very important lesson in today’s first reading. He did not pray for the death of his enemies, nor did he command God to send down fire to consume them. Jeremiah prayed that God who is a just judge would Himself look into the matter and execute judgment according to His Will. A clear conscience fears no accusation. If your heart is pure, you are not afraid of your persecutors because you know the God you serve. You do not take up arms to fight because you trust that God knows how to take care of your adversaries.
May we like Jeremiah not back down on our goodness just because of the stones we receive from others. Amen.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, increase my courage to stand for what is right and free me from all bitterness especially when I face persecution for your sake. Amen.
Bible Study: Jer. 11:18-20, Ps. 7:2-3,9-12, John 7:40-52).
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu