Journey to Daily Prayer – Day 30
Thursday in the Fourth Week of Lent
“See how beautiful he is!”
If you were an ancient Jew, the greatest man that ever existed was Moses. Through Moses, God redeemed Israel out of Egypt, instituted a new covenant, and gave the Promised Land. He even gave Israel the Sabbath laws. Today’s Exodus reading has Moses functioning like a priest. Though Israel sinned through gross idolatry (Ex 32:7-10), Moses intercedes to God for their forgiveness (Ex 32:11-13). And instead of Israel repenting, God “repents” on their behalf—or rather, compassionately exercises mercy, so that Israel is not cast out (Ex 32:14). Thus, in today’s John reading (which continues from yesterday ) while the Jewish authorities accuse Jesus of breaking the Sabbath thereby defying Moses, Jesus defends himself by asserting that Moses prophesied about Jesus. So, if Jesus’ Jewish adversaries truly followed Moses, they would truly believe Jesus’ authority over life and death (Jn 5:45-47). Yet, they refuse to come to him and have life (Jn 5:40). Now, we don’t know all the reasons why Jesus’ adversaries kept rejecting him. But we do know some of the reasons why we reject Jesus, don’t we? We find other things more attractive than Jesus. We’re convinced that somehow wealth, careers, sex, substances, entertainment can give us more life than Jesus can. However, as we approach Holy Week, we are given one more chance to see how beautiful Jesus really is! We are given one more chance to lift our eyes up to the cross and see how much he loves us, so that we can be lifted up from death and into life!
Almighty and most merciful God, drive from us all weakness of body, mind, and spirit; that, being restored to wholeness, we may with free hearts become what thou dost intend us to be and accomplish what thou willest us to do; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.