The Good News for the day, March 24, 2018
Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent (256)
Many Judeans who had come to Mary and had seen what Jesus had done began to believe in him. Some of them, though, went to the leading religious party, Pharisees, and told them what Jesus had been doing. The religious leaders and the Pharisee Party convened the ruling assembly and said, “What are we going to do? This man’s actions are making a big impression. If we leave him alone, everybody will believe in him. Roman authorities will come and take away both our land and our country. One of them, Caiaphas, the high priest that year, addressed them, “You have no clue! You don’t seem to realize it is better for you that one man should die rather than the entire people—so that the whole nation doesn’t end.” (He was not saying this on his own; as high priest for that year, he was foretelling that Jesus was going to die for the nation—not just for the nation, but also to gather all together into one family the dispersed children of God.) From that day on, they were planning how to kill him. As a result, Jesus no longer walked about in public among the Judeans, but left town for the region near the desert, a place called Ephraim. There he stayed with his followers. Now the Passover of the Jews was coming up, and many people traveled up from the country to Jerusalem before Passover to do their purification ceremonies. They were looking for Jesus and they were talking to one another—in in the temple area, “What do you think–that he won’t come to the holyday?” (John 11)
People think before major decisions. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. and sometimes the unintended consequences of a bad judgment produce good results. The Gospel here is saying that the high priest—thinking to end the danger of Jesus politically—unintentionally did the Will of God, and brought about the salvific death of Jesus.
So it is with us. You and I do the best we can—in checkbook or love life, in politics, business and jobs. Sometimes we make good decisions that turn bad; sometimes bad decisions turn out well. Faith is both thinking—and the outcome.
In the eyes of God—in eternity, in what counts—we leave things up to God once we do our best. We can’t know what good ripple effect God can give our mistakes, what wonderful joy—years hence—can result from a small decision that seemed bad. This is what faith does—to believe that God provides poisonous belladonna that heals the heart, that a (reluctantly heard) correcting word shapes a lifetime for the better. Faith sees that a death, a defeat, can—because of God—become resurrection and victory.