John 7: 1‑2, 10, 25‑30
The leaders were looking for an opportunity to kill Jesus
"I am completely certain that when you become aware of the kind of ship that I am on, and how the tribulations and the crosses, which I adore in my spirit, are increasing day by day, you will not forget me in your prayers and, in an even more particular way, you will not cease doing whatever you can for the benefit of our society.”
"Thorns, crosses, troubles are nothing new in the history of the church. What does this all prove? It proves that ours is a work of God: this is the manifest sign of it. Would you expect the devil to sit by? He cannot get rid of our society: he is just trying to upset it.
I urge all to be tranquil, quiet, well-ordered, recalling that we are all here on this earth to exercise virtue, and God never ceases to provide us with tests. Being enclosed by walls and being associated with companions is not what upsets us; rather, it is ourselves who have the strange idea of selecting our own crosses instead of carrying the ones that God sends. In short, we simply have not sufficiently died to ourselves. At any rate, since all of us have the firm resolution of doing good, we shall not be wanting in the means of making progress.
Do today's readings make you feel like we are coming close to Good Friday? It is only two weeks away, and yes, the readings are turning toward the cross. St. Gaspar teaches us that thorns and crosses are nothing new. They are manifest sign that God is at work. The power of evil contends against the presence of grace, and God keeps us tranquil in the midst of battle. If one is to love, one is willing to enter into the struggle and sometimes pain that love entails. Anything else is to remain with the superficial.
In the gospel, the people had a superficial knowledge of Jesus. They knew where he was born and who his parents were. This is not the kind of knowledge an intimate friend has. This is the kind of knowledge a gossiper has. We are called to a deeper more intimate relationship with Jesus. This relationship calls us to carry one another's burdens and to enter into the experience of communion. This kind of life is not without its crosses, yet if we avoid the cross, we remain on the surface and miss the depths of life and love.
- Where is God calling me to go deeper?
- When am I picky about what crosses I'll carry?
- How do I think I know who Jesus is?
 To Msgr. Bellisario Cristaldi, January 12, 1826, Letter 1297, Resources 11, pg 9
 To Fr. Tommaso Meloni, June 17, 1827, letter 1638, Resources 11, pg 12