Friday of the Fourth Week
Creator of all things in heaven and on earth, direct my attention to your presence in creation. Kensy Joseph SJ
Entering into Prayer
Using an object: Hold an object: a stone, leaf, cross, anything you like. Weigh it, feel it, look at it.
It is a part of creation and loved by God.
Today's Scripture (John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30)
After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. Now the Jewish festival of Booths [Tabernacles] was near.
But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were in secret.
Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, ‘Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah? Yet we know where this man is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.’ Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, ‘You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.’ Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.
Food for Thought
The last time Jesus was in Jerusalem in Judea, Jewish authorities sought his death because he healed on the Sabbath and claimed that, just as his Father worked on the Sabbath, so did he. He is aware of the hostility of the Jewish authorities towards him and although he is avoiding Judea, the law of Moses called for pilgrimage to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles. Would he follow Jewish custom and attend the feast, or would he remain in the relative safety of Galilee? Jesus goes up to Jerusalem, but without drawing attention to himself.
Despite this, we next find him teaching in the Temple and attracting a crowd, some of whom – perhaps pilgrims just come to Jerusalem – are not aware that the authorities are seeking his death. Others are aware of the plot and are amazed that he is speaking openly despite the threat to his life.
Some say they know nothing about him, others that they know everything and so Jesus cannot be the Messiah. Some reject Jesus because they say “We all know where he comes from.” It is much easier having a carpenter around the place than the Messiah; it is much easier talking about broken chairs than broken lives. The temptation is to keep Jesus at the level they can handle him at; they want to keep him reasonably harmless.
Jesus knew throughout his passion where he came from – the heart of God the Father. He knew he would return there. He always knew he was not on his own.
Suggestions for Prayer
In the person of Jesus the mystery of God has a face, a voice, a language, a love, a life. In the Gospel we meet Jesus’ friends and enemies, his enthusiasms and dislikes; we are caught up in his struggle for what is right; we are challenged to keep alive the values he cherished. Can I walk with Jesus in his passion of today? Take a moment to consider this.
It’s human to find excuses not to believe, not to accept, not to follow God in Jesus. Do I prefer to keep Jesus at a harmless level? Who do I see when I look at Jesus? Who does Jesus see, when he looks at me?
How are you going to respond today?
No matter how much I know about somebody there always remains much which is hidden and known only to God. Can I pray for a deeper reverence towards those around me – especially for those I think I know well.
Image for the day
- Do you find this image of Jesus preaching helpful?
- What do you see in the image?
- Talk to God about that.
Examen (review of prayer)
With God: With God I review my day
Thanks: Where do I find joy?
Sorry: Where do I find sadness?
Please: What do I ask from God?
Amen; Examen in twenty-five words