4th Friday of Lent
Wisdom 2:1a, 12-22; John 7: 1-2, 10, 25-30
“Let us beset the just one because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, Reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training” (Wis. 2:12). These words have added poignancy in light of the church’s stance concerning recent legislation concerning abortion and pending legislation concerning the seal of confession. We are confronted with secular society that has lost all biblical moral based thinking. Because people have lost the anchor of their souls, their thinking is not right. Our society wrongly considers the tools of death (abortion and euthanasia) reasonable remedies for life and revenge as a measure of justice. The culture of death wants nothing to do with the Lord of Life or His adherents. People who no longer see themselves as being made in the image and likeness of God tend to adopt a “live for today” approach to life and a “might makes right” approach to their fellow human beings.
Convinced that they have the corner on the truth, they reject as medieval anyone who espouses the notion that God has a plan for humanity and is the Master of the Universe. In an effort to silence anyone whose existence is a witness against them, they persecute the heirs of the Kingdom of Life. They see as evil and hateful anyone who does not accept and approve their moral stance. Saint John Chrysostom spoke of John the Baptist: “The prophet led Herod, not to any judgment-seat, but he dragged him before that other tribunal of conscience; and he sets as judges upon him all who freely gave their verdicts in their thought. Therefore the tyrant trembled, unable to endure the luster of virtue.” This is underlined by Saint John Paul: “By witnessing fully to the good, they (martyrs and saints) are a living reproof to those who transgress the law, and they make the words of the Prophet echo ever afresh: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Veritatis Splendor #93).
God so loved the world that He sent his only son to seek out and find the lost, to offer them forgiveness and unmerited, unconditional love. God became man so that man could reclaim his dignity as being made in the image and likeness of God. The Son set his gaze upon us so that we might have a simple and unimpeded view of ourselves as we are before God. Caught in the gaze of the Lord of Life, we can put to death within ourselves all that separates us from the love of God. We are called to be just. We are called to love. We are called to these ideals as mission amidst the scorn, judgment, and ridicule of a world wrapped in darkness. Jesus knows what we face when we dedicate our lives to him. In the midst of the deepest darkness, He shows Himself to be the Light of the world.