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REMAINING A CHRISTIAN IN THE FACE OF CRISIS

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Reflection for Friday (5th Week of Lent)
Jer. 20:10-13,
Jon. 10:31-42)
By Fr. Uche

As we draw closer to the Holy Week, we begin to see in the readings a growing hatred of the Jews towards Jesus. The tension keeps rising between the Jews and Jesus, and that is a clear indication that his passion is close at hand. A Passion that will bring about his Glory and Liberation for Humanity.
In the Gospel, the Jews took up stones to stone Jesus and He asked them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father, for which of these do you stone me?” And they told him, it was not because of his good works but because He said he is the Son of God. That’s all.
Could you imagine that? Is this not wickedness of the highest order?
Even when Jesus tried to logically prove to them that the works he had done are such that could only be done by he who has been chosen by God, yet they remained adamant.

It was as though they suddenly forgot all the good Jesus did for them. Those who received the miracles would eventually join in shouting “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” for claiming to be God.

My dear friends, Just like Jesus, there are moments we find ourselves suffering in the hands of the very persons who have been beneficiaries of our help. The question is, what is the best way to respond to such circumstances? When the same people who fed from you pick up stones against you, what do you do?

Both Jeremiah and Jesus were provoked in our readings today and we have a lot to learn from their reaction. Jeremiah said a prayer of surrender. He asks God to fight on his behalf, and after that, he went on to sing songs of praise despite the pains in his heart: “Sing to the Lord; praise the Lord! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hand of evildoers.” (Jeremiah 20:13) The singing of Jeremiah reminds us of Paul and Silas who had the faith to sing praises to God rather than complain while in prison.
In moments of crises, learn to sing praises to God, surrender your adversaries/enemies to God, and trust that God can handle the situation perfectly.

Yes, Jesus had the power to call down fire to burn down those who were exchanging words with Him but the bible said, he went away across the Jordan. Jesus did not use the power he had to fight against his enemies. In moments of adversity, do not resort to the abuse of whatever power you hold. Jesus told us to pray for the conversion rather than the death of our enemies.

My dear friends, If God allows you to experience such difficult times, know that it is because God knows that something good can come out of it. We learn more in moments of adversity. We discover our true friends and we get to tap into our true inner strength. Adversity toughens and shapes us into God’s plans for us. So, Cherish your moment of adversity; and know that there can be no crown if there wasn’t first a cross.
We therefore pray that the Lord will give us the grace to stand our ground and react like Jesus and Jeremiah whenever our faith, our patience, and our kindness are put to test.
*Peace Be With You.*

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