Each of us has found himself or herself in this world, not by chance, or accident, but created by God in his own image and likeness. He has created us with freewill, to radiate his own goodness and attributes. By our nature, we are all good, made to resemble God, by the exercise of our freewill, we choose to be good or bad, depending on how we respond to God’s goodness. We are good when we are positive towards God; or we are bad when we turn away from God.
Today the wise-man of the Old Testament allows the evil ones to describe their own deeds and motives through which they oppose God and his friends, the just ones. Those opponents of God are motivated by the Epicurean materialist doctrines, or pleasure seeking ways. Not believing in God, they believe that objects and people were formed by chance, as a result of combination of matter and atoms. Those enemies of God believe in pleasure seeking and in the conduct that power or might is right.
For those reasons, they oppose with militancy those who are friends of God. They oppress the needy just man, with conviction that strength is their norm of justice, and that weakness proves itself useless. They say to themselves: “Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings. Reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training. He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the Lord. To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us. Because his life is not like other men’s, and different are his ways. He judges us debased; he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure. He calls blest the destiny of the just and boasts that God is his Father (Wisdom 2:12-16).”
With this mindset, the opponents of God and his friend, now have decided firmly to carry out their evil intents on the just one, to see the veracity of his words, and what would happen to him. They want to know if God would defend the just one who claims to be his son, and deliver him from the hands of his foes. They have decided to test him with revilement and torture. They want to have proof of his gentleness and patience, and to know if God will take care of him, by condemning him to a shameful death (Wisdom 2:17-20).
As we saw in the gospel reading last Sunday, it was very clear to Jesus that he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah, in the light of the vision of the wise-man of the Old Testament, as we have seen in our first reading today. For that reason, he continues to teach his disciples that the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men who will put him to death; three days after his death, he will rise. The disciples did not understand the implications of Jesus teaching, rather, on the way, they were arguing about who was the most important. This became a teaching moment for Jesus to teach them the lesson on humility, that anyone, who wishes to rank first, must remain the last, and the servant of all. He uses the model of a little child in their midst to tell them that whoever welcomes such a child like that welcomes him. And whoever welcomes him, welcomes him, who sent him (Mark 9:30-37).
What Jesus has made his disciples to know is the basis of all discipleship. Based on this, St. James tells us that where there is jealousy and strife, there are also inconstancy and all kinds of vile behavior. We should strive for that wisdom from above, which is innocent, peaceable, lenient, docile, rich in sympathy and kindly deeds that are its fruits, impartial and sincere. We must strive for the harvest of justice, which is sown in peace (James 3:16, 4:3).