Wednesday: 13 March, 2013 –– Fourth Week in Lent
Isaiah 49:8–15 / John 5:17–30
But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” This was not an isolated problem. We have all heard it –– people who have ideas of what God should do or should not allow. Some dismiss God because of their own standard of judgment: “How could there be a God when....” The details can vary, but the principle is the same –– human expectations sit in judgment on God.
We are hearing this in a particular way now as secular news commentators spout their opinions of what a new Pope should do. The Church is misunderstood and vilified beyond the inconsistencies and even atrocities of some of its members. There is a big difference between the behaviors of some Catholics and the true teachings and practices of the Church. When popular opinion denigrates the teachings of the Magisterium –– even the very existence and function of the teaching office –– we are hearing a pompous human judgment on what God has done. This is the autonomous spirit of human rebellion. This is essence of the first disobedience that opened the doors of our world to powers of hell.
This is the spirit that took Jesus to his death. Jesus was doing the work of God the Father. It was For this reason they tried all the more to kill him.... Then Jesus expounds, again and again, I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me. We all choose “judgments” every day. We cannot escape making decisions about the issues which surround us. The question is whether we will judge worldly thinking as lacking, or whether we will judge godliness with contempt.
There are voices –– popular voices –– sitting in judgment on God because God’s ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. The brokenness of our humanity causes us to seek our own way, what we think is best. A basic issue of Christian Faith is believing that God knows best, that he is always working for our good even when we cannot comprehend.
Isaiah was able to see what so many in Israel had come to deny: For the Lord comforts his people and shows mercy to his afflicted. Jesus gives an even greater promise: whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation.
Which voices are we believing? Do we embrace the words of the Father no matter what popular opinion says, or do we join with those who are judging God?