Friday - Lent Time
1) Opening prayer
Our God and Father,
we claim to be your sons and daughters,
who know that you love us,
and that you call us to live
the life of Jesus, your Son.
Give us the courage
to live this life consistently
not to show off, not to reprove others,
but simply because we know
that you are our Father
and we your sons and daughters,
brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
2) Gospel Reading - John 7, 1-2.10.25-30
After this Jesus travelled round
Galilee; he could not travel round Judaea, because the Jews were seeking to
As the Jewish feast of Shelters
drew near, his brothers had left for the festival, he went up as well, not
publicly but secretly.
Meanwhile some of the people of
Jerusalem were saying, 'Isn't this the man they want to kill? And here he is,
speaking openly, and they have nothing to say to him! Can it be true the
authorities have recognised that he is the Christ? Yet we all know where he
comes from, but when the Christ appears no one will know where he comes from.'
Then, as Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he cried out: You know me and you
know where I came from. Yet I have not come of my own accord: but he who sent
me is true; You do not know him, but I know him because I have my being from
him and it was he who sent me.
They wanted to arrest him then,
but because his hour had not yet come no one laid a hand on him.
Throughout the chapters from 1 to 12 of the Gospel of John, one discovers the progressive
revelation which Jesus makes of himself to the disciples and to the people. At
the same time and in the same proportion, the closing up and the opposition of
the authority against Jesus increases, up to the point of deciding to condemn
him to death (Jn 11, 45-54). Chapter 7, on which we are meditating in today’s
Gospel, is a type of evaluation in the middle of the journey. It helps to
foresee what will be the implication at the end.
John 7, 1-2.10: Jesus decides to go to the feast of the Tabernacles in
Jerusalem. The geography of the life of Jesus in the Gospel of John is
different from the geography in the other three Gospels. It is more complete. According
to the other Gospels, Jesus went only once to Jerusalem, the time when he was
taken and condemned to death. According to the Gospel of John he went there at
least two or three times to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. This is
why we know that the public life of Jesus lasted approximately three years. Today’s
Gospel informs us that Jesus directed himself more than once to Jerusalem, but
not publicly; hidden because in Judah the Jews wanted to kill him.
In this chapter 7 as well as in the other chapters, John speaks about the “Jews” and of “you Jews”, as if he and Jesus were not Jews. This way of
speaking shows the situation of a tragic breaking which took place at the end
of the first century between the Jews (Synagogue) and the Christians
(Ecclesia). Throughout the centuries, this way of speaking in the Gospel of
John contributes to make anti-Semitism grow. Today, it is very important to
keep away from this type of polemics so as not to foster anti-Semitism. We can
never forget that Jesus is a Jew. He was born a Jew, lives as a Jew and dies as
a Jew. He received all his formation from the Jewish religion and culture.
John 7, 25-27: Doubts of the people of Jerusalem regarding Jesus. Jesus
is in Jerusalem and he speaks publicly to those who want to listen to him. People
remain confused. They know that the authorities want to kill Jesus and he does
not hide from them. Would it be that the authorities have come to believe in
him and recognize that he is the Messiah? But how could Jesus be the Messiah? Everybody
knows that he comes from Nazareth, but nobody knows the origin of the Messiah,
from where he comes.
John 7, 28-29: Clarification on the part of Jesus. Jesus speaks about
his origin. “You know me and you know where I come from”. But what
people do not know is the vocation and the mission which Jesus received from
God. He did not come on his own accord, but like any prophet he has come to
obey a vocation, which is the secret of his life. ”Yet, I have not come of my
own accord but he who sent me is true, and you do not know him. But I know him,
because I have my being from him and it was he who sent me”.
John 7, 30: His hour had not yet come. They wanted to arrest him, but no one
laid a hand on him, “because his hour had not yet come”. In John’s Gospel
the one who determines the hour and the events which will take place are not those
who have the power, but it is Jesus. He is the one who determines the hour (cf.
Jn 2, 4; 4, 23; 8, 20; 12.23.27; 13, 1; 17, 1). Even up to the time when he was
nailed to the Cross, it is Jesus who determines the hour of his death (Jn 19,
4) Personal questions
How do I live my relationship with the Jews? Have I discovered sometimes some
anti Semitism in me? Have I succeeded in eliminating it?
Like in the time of Jesus, today also, there are many new ideas and opinions on
things which refer to faith. What do I do? Am I attached firmly to the old
ideas and close myself up in them, or do I try to understand the why, the
reason for the novelty?
5) Concluding Prayer
ransoms the lives of those who serve him,
there will be no penalty
those who take refuge in him. (Ps 34,24)