Saturday Week Five
Reading: John 11: 45-53 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, ‘What are we to do?’ This man is performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.’ But one of them, Caiphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all!’ You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.’ He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesised that Jesus was about to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to put him to death. Reflection Here we see very different responses to all that has taken place; many of the Jews who had witnessed the spirit of God moving through Jesus in his words and actions believed in him. Others did not. Fear is tangible amongst the Pharisees; Jesus has to be stopped in his tracks before they lost control of their nation; they wish to take action against Jesus before the whole nation has been converted to belief in the one, holy, begotten Son of God. Caiphas assumed the responsibility of informing the people that Jesus has to die as he would ‘gather into one the dispersed children of God’ this was not what the chief priests and pharisees wanted. They felt threatened by his presence and acts of God and made a plan to do away with him.
Today, many of our modern day prophets pay the ultimate price for their belief and profession of the Gospel. When they speak out against injustice they are kidnapped, imprisoned, tortured, denied basic human rights or murdered. Some of the perpetrators are moved by fear to do the things that they do; others have become corrupted by false teaching and have become imprisoned in their prejudices. Sadly, the result is that many good, holy people suffer grievously but God will not allow their good deeds to go unrewarded. He will honour their sharing in his Son’s passion and in his own time will raise them up. By their lives and witness to the truth, they too draw many people to God.
Lord, I ask for the grace to always remain faithful to you. May no false teaching cloud my mind or heart and draw me away from you. May I have the courage to always live by your truth; May the witness of my life draw people to you, this day and always, Amen.