April 2, 2022
Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Readings for Today
Saint Francis of Paola, Hermit—Optional Memorial
The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.” John 7:46
The guards and many others were in awe of Jesus, amazed at the words He spoke. These guards were sent to arrest Jesus at the order of the chief priests and Pharisees, but the guards couldn’t bring themselves to arrest Him. They were rendered powerless in the face of the “awe factor” Jesus enjoyed.
When Jesus taught, there was something communicated beyond His words. Yes, His words were powerful and transforming, but it was also the way in which He spoke. It was hard to explain but it’s clear that, when He spoke, He also communicated a power, a calm, a conviction, and a presence. He communicated His Divine Presence and it was unmistakable. People just knew this man Jesus was different from all the rest and they hung on His every word.
God still communicates to us this way. Jesus still speaks to us with this “awe factor.” We simply need to be attentive to it. We should strive to be attentive to the ways that God speaks in a clear and convincing way, with authority, clarity and conviction. It may be something someone says, or it may be an action of another that touches us. It may be a book we read, or a sermon we listen to. Whatever the case may be, we should look for this awe factor because it is there we will find Jesus Himself.
Interestingly, this awe factor also invited extreme criticism. Those with a simple and honest faith responded well, but those who were self-centered and self-righteous responded with condemnation and anger. They were clearly jealous. They even criticized the guards and others who were impressed by Jesus.
Reflect, today, upon the ways that God has left you in awe of His message and His love. Seek out His voice of conviction and clarity. Tune into the way God is trying to communicate and pay no attention to the ridicule and criticism you may experience when you do seek to follow His Voice. His Voice must win out and draw you in so that you can savor everything He wishes to say.
My most awe-inspiring Lord, may I be attentive to Your unmistakable Voice and to the authority with which You speak. May I be amazed at all You wish to say. And as I listen to You, dear Lord, give me the courage to respond with faith regardless of the reaction of others. I love You, dear Lord, and desire to be transfixed upon Your every Word, listening with wonder and awe. Jesus, I trust in You.
(Sat. of Fourth Week of Lent)
Scripture Meditations for Lent
Saint of the Day – Saint Francis of Paola, Hermit
Featured image above: The Pharisees and the Herodians Conspire Against Jesus By James Tissot, via Wikimedia Commons