Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection
4th Friday in Lent, April 1, 2022
Wis 2:1a, 12-22; Ps 34:18-23, Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
For those who study or have studied scripture, you will note that the book of Wisdom was written 50-100 years before Christ. Its primary purpose was to console the religious during times of severe persecution. It gave them hope for the future. From a theological perspective, one cannot help to marvel at the pre-figuring of Christ’s teachings to come. In fact, to even study Christ’s teachings, one must, or should start, with reading the book of Wisdom. The book helps us to prepare for what Jesus ultimately teaches and the sufferings He would go through in His own earthly light. From a Christian perspective, or from our heart perspective, the book of Wisdom is full of ways for us to persevere and grow in our own faith.
Jesus knew all of that. Being a devout Jew He had a very good understanding of the Old Testament, and He knew His accusers would know those passages as well. Quite often, Jesus, in His parables and teachings, uses language that reflects back on passages from the Old Testament. Today’s Gospel from John is no exception. The passage, “You know me and also know where I am from,” and the following, is a perfect reflection on the passage from Wisdom, “He calls the destiny of the just, and boasts that God is his Father.” Jesus makes it perfectly clear who He is, where He came from, and who His Father is. The Jews in Jerusalem knew all too well He was referring back to those passages.
As we reflect on these words today, while it is good to understand and study the relationships, it is better to listen with our hearts and see the hope included in the readings. While we may be downtrodden that Jesus will ultimately be killed, we take hope as written in today’s Psalm, “The Lord redeems the lives of his servants, no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.” Jesus was not afraid, and neither should we be. While there are many out there who choose to persecute and hate us for what we believe, we still need to stand firm and know that God will prevail. The book of Wisdom tells us so, as does the Psalms, and as does Jesus.