John 7: 40‑53
The plot against Jesus Continues.
"My enemies assail me, but you battle with me, or better said you ward off their darts; all I have to do is to hide myself in the great tower of defense which is your most sweet heart, and therein, to allow myself to be governed and directed by you; "Domine vim patior, responde pro me." What, then, can I fear when I find myself helped by a Father who is total love, total piety, by a Lord who is totally intent on what is best for me and before whom all creatures tremble.?" 
This seems to be an angry Gospel. We can take it one way and learn a perfect way to defend ourselves against growth and learning. Or we can follow Jesus and learn how to be faithful in the face of verbal assaults and judgments. The Pharisees here are very angry and judgmental. Rather than learning anything from what Jesus says, they characterize him and his people as cursed and backwards, incapable of having any knowledge of the law. The Pharisees know the law, yet they manipulate it for their own purpose.
We can challenge ourselves in two ways with this gospel. First we could ask ourselves if there is anyone in our life that we dismiss with a similar characterization or judgment. This can often be the way we give ourselves permission not to listen. Then we can ask ourselves how peacefully we carry the crosses the Lord has given us. St. Gaspar wrote the above passage from prison as life was going from bad to worse. He had been exiled for the profession of his faith and his loyalty to the church, and yet he continually rejoices in the Lord's continual care for him.
- Whom do I judge or dismiss?
- How do I react when listening to something new and different?
- When do I speak up for Jesus?
 Isaiah 38:14, (Douay) " Lord, I suffer violence, answer thou for me.
 from Letter No. 62 to Countess Lucrezia Ginnasi, April 29, 1813, Resources 4, pg. 19