Reading 1, Ezekiel 37:21-28
Responsorial Psalm, Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12, 13
Gospel, John 11:45-57
“If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation.”
One of the startling points of today’s scripture reading is that the Priests and ministry leaders of Jesus’ day were so afraid of losing their God-given land and temple that they missed out on what God was doing through Jesus. What special things are we missing out on, because we are so focused on ‘our land?’ Sometimes we are so afraid of losing our jobs, our savings, our reputations or even our families, that we miss out on what God is doing in the sacred places of our lives. Ironically, this can even happen within our churches. Parishioners and priests alike can be so afraid of losing buildings and budgets (our land) that we forget to raise up the young men and women of our parishes. This could, in part, explain our ‘vocations crisis.’
Yet God still uses us despite our fears. Ciaphas the High Priest makes a prophecy… “it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” Ciaphas was not thinking of Jesus being the Savior of Israel through his death. Instead, he was thinking that killing Jesus would squash his little movement so the Romans would simply leave them alone. Sometimes this is how God works. As Joseph said in the Old Testament when his brothers betrayed him into slavery, “What you intended for evil, God used for good.” This is our hope that sometimes, in spite of ourselves, God still uses us and even at times, turns our mistakes, our sins, and even evil into something that he can transform into good.
Perhaps, men, our Father in heaven is worth trusting instead of our own efforts to save ourselves, our careers, our families, and ‘our land.’
by Kyle A King