Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Wisdom 2:1,12-22 ; John 7:1-2,10,25-30
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that though hast made and doth forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness, through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Knowing the Person
Jesus said, “You know me, and know where I come from?” (Jn 7:28)
Amongst the Jews there were two traditions regarding the birth of the Messiah: that he would grow up in obscurity and be manifested to the world as an adult, or, that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem according to the prophecy in Micah (5:2). In fact the Messiah fulfilled both these expectations – His heavenly origin in the Holy Trinity is unknown to His hearers, and He was born in Bethlehem!
Who is Jesus? It is important for us to know the answer and from where He comes from. Unlike the founders of the world’s various religions (Mohammed, Buddha etc) Jesus offers us the unheard of gift of sharing in God’s very life. So, if Jesus does not come from God, of what value is the promise?
So we need to discover who Jesus is because it is through knowing Him that we come to salvation. And this is not just about learning by rote the church’s formulae of who Christ is (although that is a good start) but also internalising them and making them our own. We need to know the person of Jesus Christ in our hearts and minds.
This is why it can sometimes be better not to talk too much with someone who is beginning to come to faith. They need to find internally who Jesus is before they can develop and grow. We need to respect that inner journey. We need to pray for it to develop certainly, but too many words can be off-putting. What can be much more important is whether they see the truth of Jesus Christ in His followers!
So for each of us we need to ask deep within ourselves: who is Jesus for me? Does He come from the heavenly Father? Does He have the life of God to share with me? Do I respond to Him believing these things? What is holding me back from shaping my life based on this fundamental truth?
I WILL alway give thanks unto the Lord : his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
2. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord : the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
3. O praise the Lord with me : and let us magnify his Name together.
4. I sought the Lord, and he heard me : yea, he delivered me out of all my fear.
5. They had an eye unto him, and were lightened : and their faces were not ashamed.
6. Lo, the poor crieth, and the Lord heareth him : yea, and saveth him out of all his troubles.
7. The angel of the Lord tarrieth round about them that fear him : and delivereth them.
8. O taste, and see, how gracious the Lord is : blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
9. O fear the Lord, ye that are his saints : for they that fear him lack nothing.
10. The lions do lack, and suffer hunger : but they who seek the Lord shall want no manner of thing that is good.
11. Come, ye children, and hearken unto me : I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12. What man is he that lusteth to live : and would fain see good days?
13. Keep thy tongue from evil : and thy lips, that they speak no guile.
14. Eschew evil, and do good : seek peace, and ensue it.
15. The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous : and his ears are open unto their prayers.
16. The countenance of the Lord is against them that do evil : to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.
17. The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth them : and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
18. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart : and will save such as be of an humble spirit.
19. Great are the troubles of the righteous : but the Lord delivereth him out of all.
20. He keepeth all his bones : so that not one of them is broken.
21. But misfortune shall slay the ungodly : and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
22. The Lord delivereth the souls of his servants : and all they that put their trust in him shall not be destitute.
GRANT, we beseech thee, almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished; by the comfort of thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.