Reflection for Saturday, March 27, 2021: 5th Week of Lent.

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Janky, Gladyce
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|The smoke from Caiaphas' offering rose upward.  Standing in the Holy of Holies, he spoke to God of the trouble caused by the man called Jesus of Nazareth. |"There has been another incident.  Some say Jesus raised Lazarus, brother of Martha and Mary, from the dead.  How can that be?  Most Holy One, only you can command the dead to rise.  Jesus has no respect for our laws, customs, and traditions.  He performs works on the Sabbath.  Yet, his influence is growing.  Even some of the Jews I sent to investigate chose to stay with him.  What is to become of us? |You promised to send us your servant David to be our prince forever (Ex 37:25). A strong warrior king could defeat the Romans, but this Jesus has probably never lifted a sword.  Unlike Moses, he is not a priest or prophet, holding high his staff as he leads our army to victory.  He and his band cannot stand against the Romans.  We will lose everything, our homes, land, our holy places.  We will be scattered, just like our ancestors.  How do I protect the people?  The temple and myself?"|Caiaphas grows silent, waiting for God's response.  After a few minutes, he takes a deep breath as he believes he has heard God's answer.  When he joins the other chief priests and Pharisees gathered for the Sanhedrin, he listens to the tense discussion and then speaks, "You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish (Jn 11:50)."|Why were Caiaphas and the other Jews blind to the Messiah standing in their midst, raising the dead, curing the sick, and casting out demons? Did they believe God would act only in ways that fit their expectations?  Their timetable?  Had their anger, frustrations, and fears grown stronger than their trust in God?  Was Caiaphas' blindness later lifted to understand the greater meaning of his prophecy of Jesus' fate?|Today, like Caiaphas and the other Jews, we can slip into setting expectations for how God should be working and how quickly the work will finish.  When this happens, we can become blind to God's tireless laboring to end the pandemic, systemic racism, environmental degradation, and other inequities.  Spending time each day in prayerful reflection, such as the Examen, can open our eyes to God's presence in all things, and enable us to see God's invitation to become co-creators of a better future for all persons and the planet.|We do not need to surrender to blindness or despair.  God selects the work to be done and how to accomplish it.  We are each uniquely called to join in the work.  We only need to trust that God toils night and day on our behalf and in His eternal promise to guide and guard us.   |The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock. Jeremiah 31:10d
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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