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March 27, 2021

Jn 11: 45-56

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. J

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.

Recognizing our brothers and sisters

It’s always easy to see the Pharisees as the stage villains, as though the Gospel were a western and Jesus the new sheriff in town. But that’s too simplistic. The Pharisees were morally and religiously serious people, and their sometime hypocrisy can be measured only in relation to the height of their aspirations. In this Gospel, we see them fearing the threat of Rome, a threat that we know was eventually visited upon the nation of Israel. In other words, they’re not crazy to worry. But they make the tragic mistake of thinking that the sacrifice of a scapegoat will solve their problems. Get rid of this troublesome Jesus, and our unity and power will be reestablished. How durable this impulse remains. Get rid of these troublesome immigrants. Get rid of these troublesome poor. Get rid of these troublesome politicians. Get rid of these troublesome others in our nation, in our workplace, even, most lamentably, in our church, and all will be well. But the Gospel asks us to see those whom we would rival as sons and daughters of the same Father, and therefore our brothers and sisters. 

—Paul Lynch teaches rhetoric at Saint Louis University, where he also directs the Prison Education Program.

 

Prayer

Loving God, help us to see you in all those we encounter.  Open our hearts to see them as you do, so that we can grow in understanding and compassion of others.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

Today's Ignatian Message


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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March 27, 2021

Jn 11: 45-56

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. J

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.

Recognizing our brothers and sisters

It’s always easy to see the Pharisees as the stage villains, as though the Gospel were a western and Jesus the new sheriff in town. But that’s too simplistic. The Pharisees were morally and religiously serious people, and their sometime hypocrisy can be measured only in relation to the height of their aspirations. In this Gospel, we see them fearing the threat of Rome, a threat that we know was eventually visited upon the nation of Israel. In other words, they’re not crazy to worry. But they make the tragic mistake of thinking that the sacrifice of a scapegoat will solve their problems. Get rid of this troublesome Jesus, and our unity and power will be reestablished. How durable this impulse remains. Get rid of these troublesome immigrants. Get rid of these troublesome poor. Get rid of these troublesome politicians. Get rid of these troublesome others in our nation, in our workplace, even, most lamentably, in our church, and all will be well. But the Gospel asks us to see those whom we would rival as sons and daughters of the same Father, and therefore our brothers and sisters. 

—Paul Lynch teaches rhetoric at Saint Louis University, where he also directs the Prison Education Program.

 

Prayer

Loving God, help us to see you in all those we encounter.  Open our hearts to see them as you do, so that we can grow in understanding and compassion of others.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

Today's Ignatian Message


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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