Wis 2:1a, 12-22
Ps 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 and 23
John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
We hear a lot today about “profiling”- ethnic, criminal, athletic and so on. In today’s reading from the Book of Wisdom we find the Sage profiling the “just one,”- “good people” as opposed to those who are wicked.
It’s been a curiosity of mine to focus on the obituaries and eulogies that characterize the deceased as a “good person.” The resume of the person’s life will then mention such accomplishments as: the CEO of some company, a Board member of the University, a member of the City Council, always the life of the party, and facts of that nature. These characteristics might be laudable, but do they make the deceased a “good person?”
This is a far cry from the individual the Book of Wisdom considers to be a “good person.” In our first reading the “good person” is described as the one who fights against evil, reproaches lawlessness, advocates justice, condemns hypocrisy, avoids impurity, exposes false reasoning and champions the truth.
The Sage also predicts that the “good person” will be rejected. He is a reproach to the wicked. He puts them to shame. So they will test him with suffering and torture to see how good he really is. Isn’t that exactly the way they tested Christ?
In John’s Gospel, the people profile Christ and find he lacks the credentials to be the Messiah. They knew his origins. But the Scriptures state that no one knows from where the Messiah comes. Of course, the people are judging on physical evidence and even that is faulty. He’s definitely the son of Mary. They are unwittingly wrong when they think he is the son of Joseph. Jesus sets them straight by letting them know that he is from God who is his Father.
One faith message from our readings is to be aware of profiling any
person. From what we casually hear and observe we seldom if ever
have all the facts or know all of the circumstances. Such profiles
can be both erroneous and unjust. More trusted are the resumes we
develop by relationships over extended periods of time.
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