Friday, April 11, 2014
Saturday Fifth Week of Lent
Saturday Fifth Week of Lent
Ez 37: 21-28 / Jer 31: 10, 11-12abcd, 13 / Jn 11: 45-56
Reading: Ez 37: 21-28
You will then say to them: Thus says Yahweh: I am about to withdraw the Israelites from where they were among the nations. I shall gather them from all around and bring them back to their land. I shall make them into one people on the mountains of Israel and one king is to be king of them all. They will no longer form two nations or be two separate kingdoms, nor will they defile themselves again with their idols, their detestable practices and their sins. I shall free them from the guilt of their treachery; I shall cleanse them and they will be for me a people and I shall be God for them. My servant David will reign over them, one shepherd for all. They will live according to my laws and follow and practice my decrees. They will settle in the land I gave to my servant Jacob where their ancestors lived. There they will live forever, their children and their children's children. David my servant will be their prince forever. I shall establish a covenant of peace with them, an everlasting covenant. I shall settle them and they will increase and I shall put my sanctuary in their midst forever. I shall make my home at their side; I shall be their God and they will be my people. Then the nations will know that I am Yahweh who makes Israel holy, having my sanctuary among them forever."
Gospel: Jn 11: 45-56
Many of the Jews who had come with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw what he did; but some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called the Sanhedrin Council. They said, "What are we to do? For this man keeps on giving miraculous signs. If we let him go on like this, all the people will believe in him and, as a result of this, the Romans will come and sweep away our Holy Place and our nation." Then one of them, Caiaphas, who was High Priest that year, spoke up, "You know nothing at all nor do you see clearly what you need. It is better to have one man die for the people than to let the whole nation be destroyed." In saying this Caiaphas did not speak for himself, but being High Priest that year, he foretold as a prophet that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the scattered children of God. So, from that day on, they were determined to kill him. Because of this, Jesus no longer moved about freely among the Jews. He withdrew instead to the country near the wilderness and stayed with his disciples in a town called Ephraim. The Passover of the Jews was at hand and people from everywhere were coming to Jerusalem to purify themselves before the Passover. They looked for Jesus and as they stood in the Temple, they talked with one another, "What do you think? Will he come to the festival?"
"So, from that day on, they were determined to kill him" Jn 11:53
Two thousand years after all of these came to pass, it is easy for us to condemn the act of plotting against Jesus. What you and I fail to see when we read the bible is that all these things happened to them in "real time." Because of this, we barely see their perspective, their life, their politics.
If we were one of the Jews during that time in history, how would we have acted? We have a country that might be persecuted because of this one man from Galilee, this one man who is a simple carpenter of unknown origin. How are we to decide? We who are "learned" of the Scriptures? We whom the people depend on for their faith and their fate? If we were Caiaphas, what would we have said to our fellow leaders who were already feeling the threat of this man? For us now it is history, so we know what to do. The leaders then, however, were lacking of this ability to predict, to know how things would turn out to be. It is presumably safe to say that they did what they thought was the best thing to do at that time in history. For nobody of good reason would want to hurt another. No God fearing individual would mean to plot against God's son.
Jesus' ability to forgive and to go through all the sorrows and pain he suffered from his persecutors stemmed from his absolute obedience to his Father's will. God's unconditional love for us made Him send His only Son to save us through the cross. Despite who we are He chose to do what He did out of love for us.
Are we aware of how much God loves us? How do we respond to His love?
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for the special intentions of:
* Louie Relatado
* Fr. Cesar Marin SJ
* Dave Allan C Dy
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for the repose of
* Bernardo Santiago Jr.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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