April 1, 2022
Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
Jesus moved about within Galilee;
he did not wish to travel in Judea,
because the Jews were trying to kill him.
But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.
But when his brothers had gone up to the feast,
he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.
Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said,
“Is he not the one they are trying to kill?
And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him.
Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ?
But we know where he is from.
When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.”
So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said,
“You know me and also know where I am from.
Yet I did not come on my own,
but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.
I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.”
So they tried to arrest him,
but no one laid a hand upon him,
because his hour had not yet come.
In a cry once more, to the Jews, Jesus tries to help them to recognize him.
And why don’t they recognize him? He isn’t important enough. He isn’t from the right places. If they are going to give him recognition – he must check the boxes. He’s from Nazareth – a small backwater town where no one of note is from. The people in power don’t call out his name and establish him as a great teacher.
If I saw Jesus today – under an overpass, on a street corner, in a tenement slum – would I recognize him? Are we any more capable of seeing him for who he is, even with all the information we have at our disposal?
Is the Church of today any less likely to want to cause him harm? Would they try to protect their influence like the Pharisees?
Honestly, I can’t answer that for myself, and I will not try to answer for the magisterium or the clergy throughout the world.
I will say, I do have my suspicions.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…