Friday, March 07, 2008
The Book of Wisdom was probably written by a faithful Jew in Alexandria in Egypt about one hundred years before the coming of Christ. Yet despite its early date, parts of this book, like today’s reading, sound amazingly close to a description of Jesus. Although not worded as specific predictions, these passages are still very powerful pointers to the salvation that God had been planning from the beginning of time.
This passage points us to Jesus, even as it describes aspects of the life of anyone who chooses to follow Jesus. We too can profess “to have knowledge of God,” and we too can boldly call ourselves a “child of the Lord” (Wisdom 2:13). And at times, we too will experience some kind of persecution for our witness to the gospel message.
In all of today’s readings, in fact, we are reminded of the opposition that our faith in Christ will provoke—and of God’s faithfulness to us. In the responsorial psalm, we hear that “many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all” (Psalm 34:19). In the Gospel reading, we hear of a failed attempt to arrest Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles because “his hour had not yet come” (John 7:30).
God will rescue us! You may face opposition when you follow Jesus. He himself was put to death—but God raised him up again! Rest assured that no matter what the suffering, God will always bless you far beyond what you have had to endure. And isn’t it worth it anyway? Wouldn’t you be willing to be ridiculed for your faith if you knew that your witness helped someone else come to know God’s love and salvation?
So don’t hesitate the next time you have a chance to share with someone about Jesus. Sure, you may be mocked or rejected, but the rewards—both for you and the other person—far outweigh the losses. As you follow Christ, you’ll find that he is working through you in unpredictable, even mystical ways. And not only does that mean that you don’t need to be a brilliant theologian or charismatic speaker. It also means that he will sustain and strengthen you in any trials you face.
meditation: The Word Among Us