The Good News for the day, March 17, 2018

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent (249)

“On the street, some people, hearing these words of Jesus, were saying things like, “This is truly THE Prophet.” Others: “This is the Messiah.” Still others said, “The Messiah is not supposed to come from Galilee, right? Doesn’t the Bible say that the Messiah belongs to the family of David—and will come from Bethlehem, David’s home village?” So, the public was split about how to think of him. Some wanted to arrest him, but no one actually grabbed him. Ultimately, police officers went to the religious leadership and the Pharisee religious party—who asked the officers, “Why didn’t you bring him to us?” The officers answered, “Never before has anybody ever spoken the way this man does.” To this, Pharisees answered, “Have you been taken in, too? Have any authorities or the Pharisees leadership believed in him? But the public which does not know the law—damn ‘em!” Nicodemus—one of them—the one who had come to Jesus earlier, said to them, “Does our law reach a verdict about someone before it first hears his side—and finds out what he is doing?” They answered, “You‘re not from Galilee, too—or are you? Look and see that there isn’t any prophet that comes up from Galilee.” Then everybody went on home. (John 7)]

What people think of you—often—affects you. You and I respond instinctively to praise and criticism. It is about these instinctive responses that Jesus is trying to instruct you and me—because we humans tend to misunderstand one another.

The follower of Jesus learns to deflect the opinions of others – their judgment of your goodness, or your sins. People judge you—and get it wrong because all of us are governed too much by prejudices. (We judge others, too, by prejudices.)

Notice Jesus does not defend himself. Like Jesus, you might laugh at mistakes people make about you—their misunderstandings can be ignored mostly. We know that Jesus is not the Messiah the way they thought; he ignored them. We know that it doesn’t matter whether Jesus was from Galilee are Bethlehem; He was from God.

You are a child of Our Father. You are from God. You bear witness to the goodness of the world around you. You care for –you love—your brothers and sisters in the family of God. You follow the Spirit of God on the Way of the Cross, disregarding public opinion–criticisms which spring from prejudice and misunderstandings, or else praise when God deserves the credit. Your peace depends not on other people, but on your integrity. No matter what people say, you are at peace. You are a “prophet-messiah” from your own town—and from Our Father!

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