Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Reading Wisdom 2:1,12-22
Gospel John 7:1-2,10,25-30

"…but no one laid a hand upon Him, because His Hour had not yet come.”

Today’s First Reading, from the Old Testament Book of Wisdom, sounds as if it could have been written by one of the four evangelists in the Passion narratives. The First Reading seems exactly what those who plotted Jesus’ death would have said as they explained to themselves their rationale for His crucifixion.

One way, then, to reflect on the powerful passage is to apply it as a salve against any persecution that you yourself may have faced (or face today) because of standing for the Truth who is Christ. Especially comforting is the final sentence, in which the biblical author offers commentary against the thoughts of the wicked.

However, during Lent it would be more fitting to take a different tack to the First Reading. Read through the words of the wicked as a sort of Examination of Conscience. Gossip, calumny and slander are sins that most Christians participate in either directly or indirectly. These three sins, and others related to them, are common enough to cause great harm to the Body of Christ, regarding both families and fellow parishioners. Reflecting on the First Reading, ask whether your any of your relationships with others, or even your opinions of them, demand purification.