Mob Mentality

March 8

Readings: Jer 11:18-20; Jn 7:40-53

"You are not from Galilee also, are you?" Jn 7:52

The classic production Twelve Angry Men sizzles with emotion as a lone juror disputes the group's judgment in a homicide case. This juror gradually exposes the others' biases and faulty thinking that allowed them to ignore questionable evidence and cling to their verdict. Throughout this process, he withstands insults and threats.

While this scenario of group mentality makes for riveting drama, our Gospel reading shows that human nature, sadly, has been this way for thousands of years.

The Pharisees had already made up their minds about Jesus. Perhaps they had even convinced themselves that their motive was for the good of their nation. Their wave of emotion had gained momentum enough to crush the facts. But among their number was Nicodemus. Not yet a believer (he would later provide the precious spices for Jesus' burial), Nicodemus sought truth and justice. The sole voice of reason, he tried to dissuade the other leaders. He asked them if the law would allow condemning a person without assessing the evidence in a fair trial. Instead of considering his comments, they asked if he was also from Galilee, implying that he's an uneducated rural nobody.

The authorities and Pharisees were well educated and exemplary in their religious practices. If they hadn't believed in Jesus, why should anyone else? We don't need any special degrees to accept Jesus. The brilliant philosopher Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta) learned this when she read a book by St. Teresa. "Those who seek the truth seek God, whether they realize it or not." She found Him in the person of Jesus.

Lord Jesus, please give me the courage to stand up for justice and righteousness even when I am outnumbered or intimidated. Amen.

Jn 14:6

27, 2104, 2465-73

Diary of St. Faustina

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