Father Alex Yeung, LC
Many of the
Jews who had come to visit Mary and seen
what he had done began to believe in him. But
some of them went to the Pharisees and told
them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and
the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, "What are
we going to do? This man is performing many
signs. If we leave him alone, all will believe in
him, and the Romans will come and take away
both our land and our nation." But one of
them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to
them, "You know nothing, nor do you consider that
it is better for you that one man should die
instead of the people, so that the whole nation
may not perish." He did not say this on
his own, but since he was high priest for that
year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die
for the nation, and not only for the nation,
but also to gather into one the dispersed children of
God. So from that day on they planned to
kill him. So Jesus no longer walked about in public
among the Jews, but he left for the region
near the desert, to a town called Ephraim, and
there he remained with his disciples. Now the Passover of
the Jews was near, and many went up from
the country to Jerusalem before Passover to purify themselves.
They looked for Jesus and said to one another as
they were in the Temple area, "What do you
think? That he will not come to the feast?"
Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are life and truth
and goodness. You are also peace and mercy. How grateful
I am to have this moment to turn to
you. Without you I can do nothing good. In
fact, when I do good, it is you working through
me, despite my failings. Thank you, Lord. Here I
am ready to love you more.
me to see your will, Lord, above and beyond
my own will and my own plans.
1. No Middle
Ground: Today’s Gospel opens with the response to Jesus’
raising of Lazarus from the dead. Some eyewitnesses of
the miracle believed in him, but others did not; in
fact, they went to “pour fuel on the fire”
with the adversaries of Christ who were seeking a
reason to condemn him. Here we see the mystery of
human freedom at work. The overt action of God
in our lives obliges us, in a certain sense, to
move to either side of the truth. To what
side of the truth am I moved when I sense
the manifest action of God at work in my
life, in the voice of my conscience, or in
the lives of others? Does it help me to believe
ever more deeply in Christ?
2. Is it All About
Power? Why did the Pharisees so oppose the message
and action of Jesus? One way of looking at
the problem is to see it as the natural consequence
of the human tendency toward control – even the
control of things spiritual. The religious authorities of Christ’s
time no doubt saw themselves as the custodians of
the faith handed down to them by their forefathers. But
it seems that slowly this custody became control. The
authorities become less interested in the legitimacy of Jesus’
identity, message and mission and more interested in maintaining
the established religious and political order. Yet even their
resistance is incorporated into God’s plan. Their rejection leads Jesus
to die for the nation, “and not only for the
nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed
children of God.” How much do I try to
control God’s action in my life?
3. Willingly Embracing the
Father’s Will: We can only imagine the inner thoughts
and feelings of Christ as the events leading to his
suffering and death begin to unfold, just as he
knows they will. Instead of resisting the Father’s plan,
we see Christ serene and composed as the tension builds.
We see his sense of determination and decision increase.
He is fully committed to the Father’s will. Jesus
teaches us the wisdom of letting go of circumstances that
are fully within the Father’s purview. He teaches us
to embrace the divine will with total trust and
serenity, no matter how difficult it may be for us.
Conversation with Christ: You know, Lord, what is
best for me because you are my Father, immensely
good, inclined towards me, attentive to my pleas, eager
to give me the body of your Son ever present
in the great mystery of your Eucharist.
I will embrace with faith what I cannot –
and should not – control.