Saturday, March 31, 2012

'In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.' – St Augustine

We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are. – Thomas Merton (Trappist Monk and author)

John 11:45-56
Many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what Jesus 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?"

If Jesus came in His physical, glorified body to your church for Easter, would He be accepted? What if He decided to cleanse the sanctuary? Would the ushers apprehend Him? (Jn 11:59)

As I was reading today’s gospel, the first thing that stood out to me was the fact that the members of the Sanhedrin never say anything bad about Jesus; they merely say that he is performing many miracles and that the people will soon all believe in him. I find it interesting that none of them are questioning his validity or by whose authority he is doing his work. One would like to think that, if they have no concerns about his actual ministry, he would be left to carry it out. But that is not what happens. These men are so concerned about their positions of power being threatened that they are willing to cut down anyone who stands in their way. They fear the Romans, who will think that the Sanhedrin has lost control, and will come in and “take away our power and our nation.” Does this scenario sound similar to our own work places, our government, and yes even some of our churches where the truth is sidestepped for subjective agendas?

A week from today will be the Easter Vigil, the greatest celebration of the year. We are about to step into the life of Christ and walk with Him the path of Calvary and Resurrection. If we are to be free, we must be one. Jesus died to make us one (Jn 11:51-52). "It is He Who is our Peace, and Who made the two of us one by breaking down the barrier of hostility that kept us apart"

During this upcoming week, try to keep this thought in mind. Jesus died on the cross "to gather into one all the dispersed children of God" (Jn 11:52). He is praying that we be one as He and the Father are one (Jn 17:21).

"United we stand, divided we fall."

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