The godless say to themselves:
‘Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man, since he annoys us
and opposes our way of life,
reproaches us for our breaches of the law
and accuses us of playing false to our upbringing.
‘Let us see if what he says is true,
let us observe what kind of end he himself will have.
If the virtuous man is God’s son, God will take his part
and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies.
Let us test him with cruelty and with torture,
and thus explore this gentleness of his
and put his endurance to the proof.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death
since he will be looked after – we have his word for it.’
First reading for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The words from Wisdom are often read by Christians as prophetic of the suffering imposed on Christ in his Passion.
Contemplation of that Passion and these words helps us also to draw closer to the suffering endured by people in our own time, of all faiths and nationalities and classes; and the cruelty of those who will even go out of their way to cause it.
17th Carving. Musée des Augustins, Toulouse. (c) 2018, Allen Morris