In today’s gospel, the people were divided between believing Jesus and the scholars of the law, the Pharisees. The Pharisees cannot accept that Jesus is the Messiah as he came from Galilee when the scripture says he is to come from Bethlehem. The others, like the guards and Nicodemus, after listening to Jesus speak, start to question this logic as they were moved by the words of Christ, “No man ever spoke like that before”. Last Sunday’s gospel taught us how Jesus can heal our blindness if we truly trust in Him. In today’s gospel, we see how our human pride, errors and sins can blind us from the truth that is Jesus. The Pharisees who are set in the laws, pride themselves as the scholars and experts of the scriptures. They look down on people who are ignorant to the law yet they never taught nor shared their knowledge with them. Their sins of pride, envy and anger have hardened their hearts to the word of God, and to the people who dare challenge their ways. In our present world, we can be like the Pharisees, so set in our own ways and beliefs. Self-righteousness is a common sin of the religious. But as followers of Christ, we must look to Him to know how to save ourselves from the snares of the devil and save ourselves from hardened hearts. We have to know Him intimately and allow God to be “the searcher of mind and heart” so He can warn us of the dangers of sin and we may then cling to Him.
In the first reading, Jeremiah knew of the plot to destroy him. As a human, he wanted vengeance. But as a “trusting lamb” of our God, he cried out to Him “But, you, O Lord of hosts, O just Judge, searcher of mind and heart, let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause!” Jeremiah went against his human nature and responded with great humility, faith and trust in our King by surrendering everything to Him. Our life here on earth is a constant battle between good and evil. We have to humbly acknowledge that we cannot win this battle without the grace of our Father. We must continuously surrender our will to the one who truly searches our minds and hearts and take shelter in Him. Only in doing so can our hearts be always open to the word of Jesus and be steadfast in the eyes of sin.
With much humility, I surrender to you my life.
Search my heart and mind and teach me your ways.
Protect me from the dangers of sin and keep my heart close to Yours.
Fight my battles so I can continue to set my eyes on you and follow your ways.
To our blessed Mother, teach us your ways so we can always reject sin and follow your Son all the days of our lives.