Friday, 3rd April, 2020
Friday of the Fifth week of Lent

‘Be not afraid’ was a constant refrain of St. Pope John Paul II, inviting Catholics to be authentic witnesses of their faith to the world. The readings today will remind us that this is no easy task.

For all his preaching, Jeremiah reaped only scorn, ridicule, rejection and enmity. Jeremiah’s bitterness is not so much from the abuse meted out to him, but because of the stubbornness of the people, refusing to accept God’s message.

Jesus’ public ministry was quite revolutionary for the traditional Jewish establishment. He spoke of God’s Kingdom of justice, peace, equality, humble service, love and more… something very alien to what the Jewish authorities preached and practiced. Jesus also spoke of every human as a precious child of God; an ever-loving and merciful God who didn’t operate on the basis of punishments and rewards. However, what really ticked off the Jewish establishment was Jesus claiming to be one with the Father. And so they scorned Him and sought to eliminate Him.

Lord make of us not timid disciples but bold witnesses.


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