Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Reading Daniel 3:14-20,91-92,95
Gospel John 8:31-42

“‘If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’”

In today’s First Reading, the prophet Daniel is a type of Christ. A type is an incomplete foreshadowing of the Christ to come. The prophet Daniel defends an innocent human being from an unjust punishment by clever words. But would Daniel have defended this girl if she had been guilty of what she was accused?

In today’s Gospel Reading, Jesus defends a guilty human being from an unjust punishment by simple words. But on Good Friday, Jesus will defend someone far worse. On Calvary, Jesus will defend you and me. From the Cross, Jesus will silently defend a guilty human race from a just punishment: the punishment of eternal damnation. He will defend us by taking our place, and by offering His Body and Blood, soul and divinity, for the forgiveness of all mankind: becoming sin, so that from within, he might transform sin and death through the power of divine love.

When you see an image of the Sacred Heart, you see an antidote for the culture that surrounds us. Jesus points only to Himself, to the innocent Lamb who was slain. He points to His own Sacred Heart. He invites us—most especially through this Eucharistic Sacrifice—to enter into this love: a love which shows mercy to the guilty, and forgiveness to those without hope.