"Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them, 'Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?'”It is always heartening to read about heroes whether they be Christian saints or national icons. From St Paul who, after his conversion, went all over the known world as a disciple of Jesus without counting the cost, to Dorothy Day who was unafraid to confront Cardinal Spellman about his support for the Second World War, there are people whose interpretation of the Gospel compels them to speak and act, especially on behalf of the poor.
Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedrin, also demonstrates great courage in trying to get the leaders of the Jewish people to put aside their fears that Jesus was attracting too much attention and distracting everyday Jews from living the Torah. That his challenge was not heard matters little. Nicodemus had the courage to risk his own position and power for the sake of living the law as he learned it. Like St Paul and Dorothy Day, everyday heroes always do the right thing.
Lent is a good time to ask ourselves how much we are willing to risk on behalf of the Gospel. Are we involved in any organization that works for an end to violence or poverty? Are we willing to support financially groups that work on behalf of the unemployed or under employed? Are we open to working with people who help refugees and other struggling minorities?
Today, ask yourself how much living the Gospel costs you?
Who are the heroes you most admire?