“Let us condemn him to a shameful death.”
A reading from the Book of Wisdom (Wisdom 2:1a.12-22)
Ungodly men reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves, “Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training. He professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord. He became to us a reproof of our thoughts; the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his manner of life is unlike that of others, and his ways are strange. We are considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts that God is his father. Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life; for if the righteous man is God’s son, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries. Let us test him with insult and torture, that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance. Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to what he says, he will be protected.” Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray, for their wickedness blinded them, and they did not know the secret purposes of God, nor hope for the wages of holiness, nor discern the prize for blameless souls.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 34: 17-18.19-20.21 and 23 (R. 19a)
R/. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.
The Lord turns his face against the wicked
to destroy their remembrance from the earth.
When the just cry out, the Lord hears,
and rescues them in all their distress. R/.
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted;
those whose spirit is crushed he will save.
Many are the trials of the just man,
but from them all the Lord will rescue him. R/.
He will keep guard over all his bones;
Not one of his bones shall be broken.
The Lord ransoms the souls of his servants.
All who trust in him shall not be condemned. R/.
VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL Matthew 4:4b
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
“They sought to arrest him,‘ but his hour had not yet come.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 7:1-2.10.25-30)
At that time: Jesus went about in Galilee; he would not go about in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews’ feast of Tabernacles was at hand. But after his brethren had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? Yet we know where this man comes from; and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from; But I have not come of my own accord; he who sent me is true, and him you do not know. I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” So they sought to arrest him; but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Jewish authorities in Jerusalem had apparently decided that Jesus had to die because of his claim to being the Son of God, and by implication, divine himself. That was blasphemy, and the penalty for such blasphemy was nothing short of death. The ordinary citizens of Jerusalem also apparently agreed with their leaders. They thought they knew where Jesus came from. He was from Galilee, the son of a carpenter from Nazareth. How then could he be the Son of God and a divine person? But they were grossly mistaken. They did not know that Jesus came from God, born of the Virgin Mary. Joseph, the husband of Mary was not his real Father, but only his foster father. The disciples of Jesus know the truth, and rightly worship him as the Divine Person that he is.