Friday of the 5th Week of Lent - Memorial of St. Benedict the Moor
The tensions are building as we head toward Holy Week. Both of our readings today reflect a collision between one chosen by God to deliver a message of conversion and salvation and his opponents, including religious leaders.
Jeremiah’s enemies denounced him because he refused to play the rule of a court prophet and pretend that everything in Judah was OK when it was not. Jesus was denounced not only because he revealed that he was God’s Son but also because he defied popular expectations of whom the Messiah was and what he would do.
A week from now, we will celebrate Good Friday. We will remember how Jesus accepted the ultimate denunciation: execution by the government at the insistence of religious leaders, both of whom were threatened by his ministry and authority. But we do so in hope and gratitude. We know it’s not the end of the story. –jc