Written by: Peter Nguyen, UF Student
“The wicked say: Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us… For if the just one be the son of God, God will defend him…” (Wis 2:12-18). Although we are outside the season of Lent, these words harrow Christ’s crucifixion and death on the cross at Golgotha. This passage from Wisdom was fulfilled and addressed by Christ to his disciples in the Gospel reading when he said, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise” (Mk 9:31).
This truth is especially important because of the significance it has on our faith. It’s easy to believe and blame those in Jesus’ time for choosing to crucify the Son of God when asked by Pontius Pilate; it is much harder, however, to recognize and admit that we continually deny Christ when we throw away the gift of faith that He has presented us and instead choose the things of this world. Sometimes, we are like the crowd, choosing Barabbas and crucifying Jesus, choosing vice instead of virtue. This truth, that the Lamb of God would die for mankind, leaves an immense precedence for us.
This sacrifice teaches us what it means to live an authentic Christian life. How is it that we shy away from greatness when it is difficult to do so? Christ’s cross wasn’t comfortable. We are called for greater, to pursue holy excellence. That doesn’t simply mean to “be nice,” or to pray whenever we feel compelled to. Rather, we are held to a higher standard, to hold true to faith every day of our life, especially when it is difficult to do so.
To draw closer to Christ requires tearing us away from ourselves and recognizing that everything that we have been given is only in virtue of Him. “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. But wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity” (Jas 3:16-17). May we pray for an increase in wisdom, in order that the fullness of faith may be revealed to us. May we become people of prayer and walk alongside others in this life, so that we may receive Christ in everlasting joy.