Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4, 5-6, 7
I hear the whisperings of many: "Terror on every side! Denounce! Let us denounce him!" All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
Todayís readings, just one week from Good Friday, grow more ominous as the enemies of Jesus search for evidence of his misdeeds. What threatens them the most is that Jesus looks them squarely in the face and speaks the truth, one they donít want to hear. They want to kill him, to stop the message of the gospel he brings to them.
What kind of courage does it take for us to speak out with an unwelcome message, a message that might threaten our own well-being?
Can I look at the way I live my life and see where I lack the kind of courage Jesus had? How am I being called to live the gospel in a counter-cultural way? How mocked or threatened would I be if I chose to live my life more simply? More importantly, how much would it matter to me that I was mocked or threatened? What courage would it take to speak out or even work on behalf of the poor or marginalized?
Do I have the strength to take stands that are unpopular? How might others view me if I speak openly in defense of all life, not only the innocent life of the unborn but on behalf of the less-attractive, less innocent men and women on death row? In many places in America the death penalty is so well accepted, it isnít even a part of the political discussion. Is this an evil I recognize but lack the courage to confront more openly?
Lord, I want to walk with you in the week ahead. Let me admire
you, fall in love with you, desire to imitate your own courageous fidelity
to the truth. Where I am filled with fear, let me feel your love,
strengthening me. Attract my heart and give me strength, even the
fire of your own spirit. I want only to have the courage to stay
with you, to stay awake for you, in the days ahead.
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