Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Today’s readings

There are two things happening in the readings these later days of Lent. In the first readings, we have had the prophets complaining about the evil that is plotted against them and also them calling on the Lord God to be their help. In this they foreshadow what will happen to the Christ during his life: he too will be a prophet who is not welcome, who is not understood, who is treated with evil intent. He too will find his only trust in the Lord God, his Father.

The second thing that is happening is that, as we read through the later part of John’s Gospel, it’s starting to get a little dangerous for Jesus. The authorities aren’t sure what to make of him, and most of them would like his troublesomeness taken from them. They wish to arrest him and put an end to his prophecies and words of challenge. They begin to plot against him more and more in earnest. But, they are unable to lay hands on him because “his time has not yet come.” In John’s Gospel, Jesus’ life is not taken from him; instead, he freely lays it down, and he does it in the Father’s time, not his, not the Jews’, not anyone else’s.

So in our readings we are beginning to hear a sense of urgency. Our days of Lent are quickly coming to a close. Holy Week will be here before we know it. And so if we’ve had Lenten plans that have not quite taken hold or have been put off, now is the time to revive them in earnest. We need to confess our sins, to fast, pray and give alms, to ready our hearts and our spirits for the wonderful days of grace that lie ahead.