The good news for the day April 8, 2017
Saturday of the Fifth Week in Lent (258)
Many Jews who had come to Mary’s home—had seen what Jesus had done—started believing in him. Others went to religious leaders to tell them what Jesus had done. In the upshot, the hierarchy and religious leaders convened their deliberative body and asked, “What are we going to do? This man is doing many notable acts. If we leave him alone, everyone will believe in him! Roman forces will come and take away both our land and our nation.” One of them, though, Caiaphas—high priest that year—concluded, “You have no idea—nor do you realize—it is better for you that one man has to die rather than all the people, so that the entire nation may not perish.” He was not saying this of his own accord, but—as he was high priest that year—he was predicting Jesus was going to die for the nation…not only for the Jewish nation, but also to gather dispersed children of God now beyond these borders. From then on, as a result, they were figuring to kill him. Jesus, then, no longer walked publicly among Jerusalem Jews, but went to a more deserted locale—the town of Ephraim. There he stayed with his followers. The Passover of the Jews was near, and many people went up from the countryside to Jerusalem before Passover to prepare themselves. They were looking for Jesus and saying to each other when they were in the public area of prayer, “What do you think—that he will not come to the feast?” (John 11)
Jesus is different. So are you. Why? How? What made these leaders so afraid that He would cause the destruction of their country? What would make religious, political, and cultural leaders so afraid of YOU, they would want to kill you? What do you stand for? How are you different? Jesus did meaningful things. He preached, of course, often to explain and refer to people to our Father.
You follow Jesus by doing meaningful things—forgiving, healing, and doing courageous personal acts of love to nurture bodies & souls—to defy heartless, rationalized and all-too-common self-centeredness of people around you. You are different, indifferent to public custom and law—obedient to your conscience and God. You think of others; you care; you offer your life in service to others.