Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Did Not Come on My Own

March 27, 2009

Friday of the Fourth Week in Lent

By Melanie Rigney

… (T)hey erred, for their wickedness blinded them, and they knew not the hidden counsels of God; neither did they count on a recompense of holiness nor discern the innocent souls’ reward. (Book of Wisdom 2:21-22)

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. (Psalms 34:19)

Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said, “Is he not the one they are trying to kill? And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him. Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ? But we know where he is from. When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.” So Jesus cried out from the temple area where he was teaching and said, “You know me and also know where I am from. Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” (John 7:25-28)


Jesus, I love you. Let me emulate your confidence in the hidden counsels of God, the recompense of holiness, and the reward that awaits innocent souls.


You probably know of Mary Hart, the long-running host of TV’s Entertainment Weekly. Even if you’re not an EW watcher, you may remember the publicity that ensued several years back when she insured her shapely legs for $1 million each. Me, I knew her as Miss Harum, who taught English at my high school in South Dakota in the early 1970s. I’ve always been a little perplexed—not envious, just perplexed—about how she got from Miss South Dakota 1970 to English teacher to celebrity. Maybe you have the same reaction if you were at the University of Virginia with Katie Couric, or at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington with Sandra Bullock.

The people in today’s Gospel appear to have felt the same way about Jesus. They notice that so far, he’s still free despite the “radical” message of love and peace that he carries. But surely, he can’t be the one, because they know him. They know his mother. They know where he grew up. They have trouble getting past that to think about everything he’s said and done.

Jesus tries yet again to explain: “You know me and also know where I am from. Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.”

Celebrity or schoolteacher, cheerleader or grandparent, as we carry forth our ministries today, it really doesn’t matter whether people know us when (or now) and can place us into tidy little pigeonholes based on our backgrounds and pasts. Whether they are perplexed or are truly wicked and envious need not concern us. Rather, the key is whether we are doing today what the One who loves us desires. Let’s focus on how we are comforting the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit, confident in the hidden counsels of God.


Sunday begins the final week of Lent before Holy Week. Contemplate what you have done so far this season to help the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit—then offer up a little more.

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