BY FR. IKE UDOH, S.J. | March 24, 2021
Today’s Readings

“There is nothing more majestic than the determined courage of individuals willing to suffer and sacrifice for their freedom and dignity.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

God invites us to freedom, faith, and a fierce commitment to the Truth. These perennial values are nowhere more clearly displayed than in the readings we have today about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who chose to suffer and die, rather than bow down to the gods of their age. Jesus also tells ‘those who believed him’ that for freedom to be manifest in their lives, they must remain in his word, and so become his disciples.  

No Matter the Cost

And what an example Jesus had already given: 

  1. Saving a couple from shame by a miraculous provision of wine. 
  2. Healing the son of a centurion (a gentile outside his tribe).  
  3. Schooling a great leader of the people (Nicodemus) on the ABCs of giving birth to a whole new paradigm through the Spirit coming from above that recreates all things.  
  4. Breaking barriers by interacting with a Samaritan woman and then spending time among the once marginalized.  
  5. Ending the misery of a crippled man discouraged by 38 years of trying to reach leftovers for so many who were oppressed.  
  6. Seeing the hunger of those around him and insisting that his disciples not dismiss them, but feed them. Then taking, blessing, and sharing what they had till everyone was satisfied and there were leftovers.  
  7. Teaching the people in the synagogue, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink” because I will share what vivifies me (my Spirit) with them.  
  8. Refusing to stand in judgment over a woman caught in adultery, so that she could walk out of what enslaved her, into deeper freedom and life.  

This is the commitment we are invited to make, the example we are called to live by, no matter the cost. 

For Reflection:

  • Which of these examples given by Jesus most speak to you?
  • How are you called to deepen your commitment to the Truth—to dignity and justice for all people?

5 replies
  1. Dr Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    One of the issues Jesus was commited to is that of attending to the Samaritan woman. He gave us a starting point and wants us to continue to reach out to those who are ‘Samaritans’ in our lives to embrace and accompany them on their journey. The issue may be spiritual poverty, economic poverty, physical poverty, domestic poverty or other issues that we can show mercy and love. Reaching out to the marginalized comforts others on their journey and provides them with a sense of humanity that is necessary for all of us to grow as members of the Kingdom. So today as we prepare for Holy Week we can bring that joy that comes from being a follower of Christ.

    Reply
  2. Helen Deines
    Helen Deines says:

    Every specific act of comfort Jesus offered to the oppressed not only comforted the individual, but challenged the social structures that divided groups. So should it be with us. Acts of mercy and of justice, inseparable. That’s how He ends up on the cross, with the suffering poor.

    Reply
  3. Ellie Hidalgo
    Ellie Hidalgo says:

    Thank you Fr. Ike. It’s interesting to read the list of examples of how Jesus stands with those who become marginalized in society by culture or unjust structures and how he affirms each person’s complete dignity and remains steadfast in that truth of God’s love for all people. I am always moved by how the Samaritan woman at the well experiences deeper freedom and healing from Jesus, and then she goes out and evangelizes and shares the good news with many people.

    Reply
  4. Patricia Meyer Lee
    Patricia Meyer Lee says:

    Thank you Father for reminding us about Jesus and the compassion he displayed for the so called
    “outsiders.” I am moved by his openness to the woman who committed adultery. He accepted her without judgement because he knew her story.
    Today I see the hierarchy of the Church judging those who are gay; in fact issuing a decree that homosexuality is a sin. There is no understanding of what is true here :that baeing gay is not a choice. How sad that judgement is still very active within the Church.

    Reply
  5. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Thanks. Luke 10: 30-37 – offers a very challenging road map for adding life to our life span.

    Reply

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