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Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent

My dear encountered couples:

Our first reading taken from the Book of Wisdom fits right in to things Christ said to the leaders of the Jews and how they would respond to him. It speaks of someone who would claim to be the Son of God, who would make himself equal with God, and who would tell the wicked that they were living in sin, that they were not following the law given them by Moses. It tells how they would respond to this man who claimed to have the knowledge of God. They would test him, make him prove his assertions, try his patience. In the end they would condemn him to a shameful death.

Do you ever have anyone put you to the test? Put your faith, your Christianity to the test? The patience of a saint is hard to come by when somebody keeps at you and keeps at you. I guess we find how much of Christ we really have in us when those times come along. Sometimes we might find we just can’t remain calm, we will not be able to say and do the right thing. We might lose it, as they say, and scream all sorts of nonsensical things which we are sorry about later - not only sorry about what we said but sorry we made a fool of ourselves. Dignity is something we would all like to have and keep. But sometimes, when we are tested beyond what we feel is our limit of endurance, we explode.

We all have to prepare for those times. Jesus prepared by prayer. He practiced awareness of his Father’s presence and relied on him for help in a crisis. God is always with you and trying to help you keep calm. But if you happen to blow it, if you fail the test, you’ll find him offering to help you get up so you can try again. Tests will come and tests will end. They are to help us grow, they are to let us see how much we have really let Christ into our lives. Jesus passed all his tests, and in the end you’ll find you have too - as long as you face them with him.

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