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Daily Reading and Meditation

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Daily Reading and Meditation

 Friday (March 24):  His hour had not yet come

Scripture:  John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

1 After this Jesus went about in Galilee; he would not go about
in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. 2 Now the Jews’
feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 10 But after his brothers had
gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in
private. 25 Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is
not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26 And here he is,
speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the
authorities really know that this is the Christ? 27 Yet we know
where this man comes from; and when the Christ appears, no one
will know where he comes from.” 28 So Jesus proclaimed, as he
taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come
from? But I have not come of my own accord; he who sent me is
true, and him you do not know. 29 I know him, for I come from him,
and he sent me.” 30 So they sought to arrest him; but no one laid
hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.

Second Reading:  Wisdom 2:1,12-22(Deutero-canonical book)

1 For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves, “Short and
sorrowful is our life, and there is no remedy when a man comes to
his end, and no one has been known to return from Hades… 12 “Let
us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient
to us and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for sins
against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training. 13
He professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child
of the Lord. 14 He became to us a reproof of our thoughts;15 the
very sight of him is a burden to us, because his manner of life is
unlike that of others, and his ways are strange. 16 We are
considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as
unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and
boasts that God is his father.

17 Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will
happen at the end of his life; 18 for if the righteous man is
God’s son, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of
his adversaries. 19 Let us test him with insult and torture, that
we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his
forbearance. 20 Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for,
according to what he says, he will be protected.” 21 Thus they
reasoned, but they were led astray, for their wickedness blinded
them,22 and they did not know the secret purposes of God, nor hope
for the wages of holiness, nor discern the prize for blameless

Meditation: What can hold us back from doing the will of
God? Fear, especially the fear of death and the fear of losing the
approval of others, can easily rob us of courage and the will to
do what we know is right. Jesus met opposition and the threat of
death with grace and determination to accomplish his Father’s
will. Jesus knew that his mission, his purpose in life, would
entail sacrifice and suffering and culminate with death on the
cross. But that would not be the end. His “hour” would crush
defeat with victory over sin and Satan, condemnation with pardon
and freedom, and death with glory and everlasting life.

Jesus offered up his life for us to restore us to
friendship with God

He willingly suffered for our sake and embraced the cross to
redeem us from sin and to restore us to new life and friendship
with God our Father.

Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD)

“Our Lord had the power to lay down his life and to take
it up again. But we cannot choose how long we shall live, and
death comes to us even against our will. Christ, by dying, has
already overcome death. Our freedom from death comes only through
his death. To save us Christ had no need of us. Yet without him we
can do nothing. He gave himself to us as the vine to the branches;
apart from him we cannot live.”

No one can be indifferent with Jesus for very long. What he said and
did – his miraculous signs and wonders – he did in the name of God.
Jesus not only claimed to be the Messiah, God’s Anointed One – he
claimed to be in a unique relationship of sonship with God the
Father and to know him as no one else did. To the Jews this was
utter blasphemy. The religious authorities did all they could to put
a stop to Jesus because they could not accept his claims and the
demands he made.

Jesus alone can set us free from the power of sinful pride,
rebellion, and fear

We cannot be indifferent to the claims which Jesus makes on us. We
are either for him or against him. There is no middle ground. We
can try to mold the Lord Jesus to our own ideas and way of
thinking or we can allow his word of truth to free us from our own
sinful blindness, stubborn pride, and ignorance. Do you accept all
that Jesus has taught and done for you with faith and reverence or
with disbelief and contempt? The consequences are enormous, both
in this life and in eternity.

“Eternal God, who are the light of the minds that know you, the
joy of the hearts that love you, and the strength of the wills
that serve you; grant us so to know you, that we may truly love
you, and so to love you that we may fully serve you, whom to serve
is perfect freedom, in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Psalm 34:17-22

17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD
hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked; and those who hate the righteous
will be condemned.
22 The LORD redeems the life of his
servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Christ our physician, by
Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.

“As Christians, our task is to make daily progress toward God.
Our pilgrimage on earth is a school in which God is the only
teacher, and it demands good students, not ones who play truant.
In this school we learn something every day. We learn something
from commandments, something from examples, and something from
sacraments. These things are remedies for our wounds and materials
for study.” (excerpt from Sermon 218c,1)

Meditations may be freely reprinted for non-commercial use – please cite:  copyright (c) 2023 Servants of the Word, source:  dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager.

Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers can be found here.

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