Readings: Wis 2:1, 12-22; Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us. Wis 2:14
A college student, signing up for a semester of new courses, was warned by a classmate, "Don't take any classes with that professor. He's awful!" The student, not wanting to find out for himself, was disheartened to find that his schedule necessitated a course with the "awful" teacher.
On the student's first day in the new class, the professor warned that his course would be intellectually demanding and time consuming. The professor, however, turned out to be a fascinating speaker, full of knowledge on the subject of most interest to the student. By the end of the semester, the student had decided: this is my favorite teacher!
Why did they have such a difference of opinion? The student later considered that his classmate was too lackadaisical and not particularly interested in the subject matter.
In today's Gospel reading, Jesus had been heard teaching in the temple. The crowd has different opinions: "Is this the Messiah? No one is supposed to know where He is from." Jesus says with irony that they don't know the Father who sent Him.
Many in the crowd begin to believe in Him (Jn 7:31), but others try to arrest Him. For them, accepting Him as Messiah would also mean accepting what He taught: that they weren't keeping the law, that they judged by appearances, and that they really didn't understand Scripture as well as they supposed. Jesus' tough criticisms would take a real conversion of heart and mind to accept. It would be easier to keep a superficial knowledge of Jesus than to decide who He really is. Have you decided?
Lord Jesus, may I be a faithful student to You. Help me to embrace Your teaching in my life. Amen.
436-40, 547, 711-16
Diary of St. Faustina