First Reading: Wisdom 2:12, 17-20
The Attack of the Wicked Upon the Righteous
The wicked say:
12 Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to
he sets himself against our doings,
reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.
17 Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
18 For if the just one be the son of God, God will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
19 With revilement and torture let us put the just one to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
20 Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him.
New American Bible
People gossip. They always will. Sometimes their talk is idle chatter. Sometimes their gossip turns ugly, slanderous, and, ultimately, vengeful. So, the innocent suffer from the venom of those who speak behind backs and seek their brand of "justice" in the dark. The believer suffers at the hands of those who hate God. The righteous suffer at the hands of the jealous and the devious.
In these passages from the "Wisdom of Solomon," the author wrote about the true nature of evil. It sought vengeance upon just almost without reason. In the context of the book, the wise (i.e., the person who followed God's will and tried to live a good life) would prevail, but only through God's help. Living out that trust divided the good from the bad. It was that trust that drove the wicked to frenzied action.
Trust in God has a price. Sometimes trust costs us our reputation. Sometimes it costs us relationships. In the case of a few, it cost them their lives. But, trust means that God will win out in the end. It means he will save us. It means the price is worth paying.