Jesus, Who Is All-Good

(from the 2010 Magnificat Lenten Companion)

Kind-hearted princess, evil stepmother, handsome prince - as any child knows, with these few words we already have the makings of a good tale. Children love any tale that is "black and white", with good characters truly good and wicked characters irreformably wicked. God indeed has prepared their hearts for Jesus, who is kinder than any fairy godmother, more heroic than any prince. Indeed, in some sense, the Gospels are black-and-white tales, with a hero who routinely condemns the wicked villains: "I have much to say about you in condemnation," he tells the Pharisees in today's Gospel. But if, as children, we are drawn to this drama of good and evil, as adults we must come to understand more fully the true role of the villains. We may join in as Jesus condemns those hypocritical chief priests and Pharisees. But at a certain point we come to understand that they are us. We have all joined the chorus of the wicked who cry, "Crucify him!" Lent is a wonderful time to deepen our sense of our own sin, both personal and collective. And as we strive to make the examination of conscience a daily discipline, we recall, of course, our childlike wonder at our Lord, who is "all-good and deserving of all our love."

Reflection based on John 8:21-30
Lisa Lickona

Heavenly Father, in Adam, all were condemned, and,
in Christ, all will rise. Reform all that is disfigured in me and
conform me to the image of your Son.

Today's suggested penance: Give cousel to the doubtful.