Saturday 28 March 2020

Fourth Week of Lent

Word for today
The Gospel of John 7:40-53


The leaders of people and the chief priests of the temple are in a hurry to complete their plan to capture Jesus, to sentence Him to death, and to execute Him. That is why a group of guards are dispatched with strict orders to arrest Jesus and to take Him to the temple. The chief priests, with their deep knowledge of the Word of God, are absolutely certain that Jesus cannot be the Messiah. One of the leaders, Nicodemus, shows a glimmer of good sense and impartiality and asks to hear the condemned man before the final sentence is pronounced. But the proposal goes entirely unheeded.
What is amazing with regard to this frenzied scene is the guards' response, the answer that the soldiers give to the chief of the temple. The soldiers sent to capture Jesus are not religious experts; they do not have the scholastic background or the theological education of the priests of the temple, yet, while completely ignorant of the Word of God, they seem to have a great spiritual fervor. They are the ones who recognize, something surprising and unheard of in Jesus' words  and way of speaking: Never before has anyone spoken like this one. It may not be reliable theological evidence, but it is certainly a wonderful surprise. The stupendous surprise of this Gospel passage is that God’s grace and beauty always know how to surprise His simplest and most uneducated children. Marvelous!