Lenten Reflection – 16 March 2018 – Friday of the 4th Week of Lent
Wisdom 2:1, 12-22, Psalms 34:17-21, 23, John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
Wisdom 2:12 – “Let us lie in wait for the righteous man,
because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions;
he reproaches us for sins against the law,
and accuses us of sins against our training.
John 7:28-20 – So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from? But I have not come of my own accord; he who sent me is true and him you do not know. I know him, for I come from him and he sent me.” So they sought to arrest him; but no one laid hands on him because his hour had not yet come.
Today’s Mass anticipates every nuance of feeling, emotion, tragedy and anguish of Good Friday, only two weeks away. The plot against the “just one” described in Reading 1, is so detailed, so full of venom and hatred, one might think it came out of a secret meeting of His enemies.
Then, the Gospel spells out the gathering storm over Jesus. It would be a mistake to think of Jesus’ Passion taking place only during the last three days of His last week. Those are only the climax of a Passion that had been building up since the beginning of His public life. Rejection, unbelief, scorn – were no easier for Him to accept than for us. But here, now, at the end of His life, He encounters hatred – most painful of all agonies. The psalmist cry belongs to Him in full right: “Save me O God, by your power” (Entrance Antiphon).
Jesus’ human side, His emotions and feelings, were never more evident than during these last weeks of His life. And never did He pray more anxiously for deliverance and help, evident at the Last Supper and the Garden of Olives. He sweats blood in the Garden, He will be nailed to a cross but after three days, He will rise from the dead! And we will have forgiveness of sins and a new life and understanding for this old one we are living now. Today’s readings help us to further our own conversion as we contemplate these immense sufferings, all that Jesus has done for us and this goal He holds out to us. (Fr E Lawrence O.S.B. – Daily Meditations for Lent)
Am I bold enough to speak the truth openly, like Jesus did?
Have I too condemned anyone for the truth?
Have I experienced true fear and anguish and learnt the meaning of prayer?
O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore You hanging on the cross.
Your head crowned with thorns!
You are the King of Glory, O Christ!
St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Father & Doctor of the Church
Almighty Father, Enter our Hearts
By St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church
Almighty Father, enter our hearts
and so fill us with Your love,
that, forsaking all evil desires,
we may embrace You our only good.
Show unto us, for Your mercies’ sake,
O Lord our God, what You are unto us.
Say unto our souls, I am your salvation.
So speak that we may hear.
Our hearts are before You;
open our ears;
let us hasten after Your voice
and take hold of You.
Hide not Your face from us,
we beseech You, O Lord.
Enlarge the narrowness of our souls,
that You may enter in.
Repair the ruinous mansions,
that You may dwell there.
Hear us, O Heavenly Father,
for the sake of Your only Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
Who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.