|WALKING WITH GOD|
MONDAY, FIFTH WEEK OF LENT
We are nearing Easter, the experience of the Resurrection of our Lord. The theme that runs through the readings today is the war between the good and evil. We all have a war of good and evil within ourselves as well, but seldom, we spend more time making judgment of others than our own. Jesus tells us that he is the light of the world, and we would not be in darkness if we follow him.
At the end of today’s Gospel, Jesus is again directly confronted the Pharisees. He confronts them, speaking the truth of His union with the Father and the power and authority He had on account of this union. The Pharisees attempt to confront and challenge Him but He speaks the truth right back to them in clear language. Neither the malice of the Pharisees nor that of anyone else could ultimately triumph since Jesus’ “hour had not yet come.”
In John’s Gospel, this hour is not an hour of shame and disgrace for Jesus; rather, it is an hour of total triumph over sin and death. From a worldly perspective we know that His hour of arrest, persecution and Crucifixion takes on the public appearance of horror and disgrace for Jesus. It appears as if He lost and the Pharisees won. But from the perspective of God, which is the only true perspective, Jesus triumphs gloriously. In fact, the Father ultimately permits the malice of the Pharisees to be the instrument of Jesus’ glorification through the sufferings He endured in this hour. From the divine perspective, His hour does not become one of defeat; rather, it becomes one of ultimate victory.
Soon we will enter into the glories of Holy Week and ponder, once again, that the Father did permit Jesus to enter into the cruelest suffering and death imaginable. We will be confronted with the apparent scandal of His arrest and the illusion of the victory of the malicious leaders of the day. Begin preparing for this annual celebration of the hour of Jesus and enter into it with the utmost confidence and faith. Let us focus more on the light within us. Let us be concerned with internal dispositions, rather than external exercises. Let us not concern with how vividly we will conduct the way of the Cross, but how much we empty ourselves so that we will be filled by God himself.*
Prayer: Lord, the Father sent You on a mission of redemption and salvation and permitted You to ultimately suffer and die. Give me faith to know and believe this truth with my whole heart. Amen.