He pulls us back from the brink

LENT 2020 – Day 32

Readings: Jer 11: 18-20; Ps 7: 2-3, 9-10, 11-12; Jn 7: 40-52

There’s a sense of urgency in the readings of today. The second major prophet, Jeremiah, registers the first of his notable confessions. He describes his sufferings and anxieties vis-à-vis the mission he has to fulfil. The Lord lets him know the enemy traps, in the wake of his vehement discourse in the temple. And much as his countrymen misunderstand him about divine punishment that is imminent, Jeremiah expresses his hope in God.

The Gospel indicates that Our Lord’s Passion is round the corner. There is an air of suspense, particularly since there is a striking division in public opinion. The people, the officers commissioned to arrest Jesus, and even Pharisee Nicodemus side with Jesus. They declare that no man has ever spoken like Him before, and insist that he deserves a fair trial.

The rest of the authorities, however, would hear nothing of that. They accused the crowd of ignorance of the law. But it is clear that they who claimed to know the law had conveniently suppressed the fact that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. Their intention was to simply eliminate Jesus; He was a thorn in their side.

Even in our time, don’t people sideline those who speak the truth? Don’t these suffer for upholding their principles? Evil-mongers hate them because they, even if unknowingly, destroy their designs. That is how fallen human nature is; there is no escape. Nonetheless, we must speak, tactfully, which doesn’t mean feebly. Above all, we have to trust in the Lord, saying, “Lord God, I take refuge in You.” He died in order to save us; He always pulls us back from the brink.