Daily Reflection
March 15th, 2002
Eileen Wirth
Journalism Department
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Wisdom 2:1, 12-22
Psalm 34:17-18, 19-20, 21, 23
John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

When Secretary of State George Marshall was trying to persuade Congress to appropriate billions of dollars for the Marshall Plan to re-build Europe after World War II, a senator asked him a seemingly softball question.
“Won’t this make other countries like us?” the senator asked. Marshall rejected the softball.

“You always get in trouble when you try to help people.”
I was stunned as I watched this simple but profound exchange on a documentary of Marshall’s life. The memory has helped me many times when some well-meant effort to assist someone or act in good conscience has caused problems.

You always get in trouble when you try to help people– but you must go ahead and do it anyhow.   If you have the guts to do so, God will be with you in your ensuing travail. That’s the message of all three of today’s readings. 
“Many are the troubles of the just man, but out of them all the Lord delivers him,” says today’s Psalm. “Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us,” says the reading from Wisdom. Jesus became history’s supreme example of such a hero/victim, as today’s Gospel reminds us.

Most of us experience relatively small penalties for our modest excursions into controversial virtue. Teen-agers get angry with parents who attempt to enforce high moral standards.  Students shun classmates who won’t cheat or turn in cheaters.  Kids pay a popularily price for refusing to drink or do drugs.  Whistle blowers at work may have trouble getting another job.  Those distributing the massive amounts raised for 9/11 victims are learning just how hard that job is.
But we have to keep trying. If we do, we can be confident that sooner or later “the Lord will deliver” us from the difficulties we encounter in trying to be faithful to his commands. 

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