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, Caiaphas, 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 prophesied 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.
Jesus therefore no longer walked about openly among the Jews, but went from there to a town called Ephraim in the region near the wilderness; and he remained there with the disciples. Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. They were looking for Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The Passover is near; there is a plot afoot to kill Jesus. he could no longer move freely around the city. These phrases from today’s Gospel remind us that the long preparation of Lent now brings us to the flurry of events of Holy Week.
This “preparation day” offers me the chance to strengthen my relationship with Jesus, to renew my commitment to walk in his footsteps towards Calvary—whatever “Calvary” might mean in my life this Holy Week. How have these weeks of Lent strengthened my relationship with Jesus? How is Jesus inviting me to walk with him these coming days of grace? What Easter gifts—personal and spiritual—is Jesus offering me this year? What gifts do I hope for? What gifts do I really need?
—The Jesuit prayer team
You are all we have; you give us what we need. Our lives are in your hands, O Lord; our lives are in your hands.
—Francis Patrick O’Brien, © 1992, GIA Publications, Inc.