My Dear Good People,
We come nearer and nearer to the Cross. Two weeks from today we will find ourselves in the darkness of the tomb with our buried Jesus. Today, though, in the Gospel at morning Mass we find the Scribes, Pharisees and the teachers of the Law arguing about Jesus; about where He comes from, whether or not He’s ‘The Prophet,’ about His words, and whether Jesus is trying to deceive the people. Finally, Nicodemus comes to His defense, and he’s scoffed at (Jn 7:40-53).
The last line of the Gospel says, Then each went to his own house. That’s such a lonely line. There are those people who will follow Him to the end, but there are those who simply go to their own house. Alone. Lost. Bereft without even knowing it. Missing the Savior in their midst, even as they are hoping for Him, because they are too proud to accept One who comes from lowly Galilee.
Some things never change. There are today those who have expectations about the way things should be. They judge people by their lack of education or the menial jobs they have. They themselves seek fulfillment in the wrong places, and walk around bumping into trees, blinded by the darkness within them. But Jesus says to them, Don’t go back home to your own house, don’t hide behind the walls of your own loneliness. I come to save you. To die for you. I alone know how you have suffered, and why you look at the world the way you do. Come. Let me teach you about all that is good, and true and beautiful. Let me show you the loveliness of your innermost soul, where I long to dwell. It’s not too late. In a few days I will lay down my life for you. Even though you think you don’t believe in me, I believe in you. I am your Hope.
The next time you see someone lost in the house of his or her own making, whisper a prayer for that soul beloved by God. Then pray with me this prayer that never fails to teach me something I don’t know:
Jesus, show me what you love about this person.
He will. Then you can shine your light on that person’s light
and the whole world will be brighter.
God bless you.