REFLECTION FOR TODAY
March 27, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
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.” Jn.11:47-48
Is it not ironic how Jesus’ gift of life was what led to his death? News of Jesus raising Lazarus from the death prompted the Jewish council’s decision to have Jesus killed and so the stage was set for the sordid drama that would unfold in Jerusalem. Even as the religious leaders plotted His arrest, Jesus knew that these developments were part of a plan God had been preparing for centuries.
Jesus’ public ministry had two primary effects upon the people. For many, His teaching brought them closer to God and to the understanding that Jesus was the promised Messiah. For the chief priests and the Pharisees, they rejected His word and closed their heart to the message. In our gospel reference today, we see a group of religious leaders who are completely consumed with worldly concerns to the point that these concerns drown out all matters of faith.
As the Sanhedrin convened and discussed what they should do, Caiaphas, the high priest that year, spoke up and gave advice that perfectly depicts this worldly vision. He said, “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.” Caiaphas and many other religious leaders at the time appeared to be far more concerned with their worldly status and power than they were with matters of true faith and eternal salvation.
If they were men who deeply loved God and sought only His holy will, then they would have rejoiced that Jesus’ ministry was so fruitful in the lives of the people. They would have offered thanks to God, day and night, for the privilege of seeing the prophecies of old about the Messiah come to fruition before their own eyes.
They should have had joy and gratitude, and they should have allowed those spiritual blessings to grow within them and give them the courage they needed to go forth and die with our Lord if necessary. But instead, they chose their comfortable lives and worldly status above the truth, and they decided that Jesus needed to die.
One beautiful truth to reflect upon within this context is that God uses all things for His glory and for the salvation of those who believe. With this meeting of the Sanhedrin, these men began to plot the death of Jesus. Eventually they used deceit, manipulation, intimidation and fear to accomplish their goal.
Even though from a worldly perspective these misguided religious leaders “won,” from a divine perspective, God used their evil to bring about the greatest good the world had ever known. Through their malice, Jesus’ passion and death gave way to the new life of the Resurrection.
Reflect, today, upon the fact that God is able to use all things for our good. Be it in the midst of corruption, persecution, discord, sin, illness or any other evil in life, when we turn to God in faith and surrender, He is able to transform all things and bring forth an abundance of good fruit through them if we only let Him and trust in faith. Prayerfully surrender over to God, today, any of the above concerns that have affected you, and allow yourself to believe the simple truth that nothing can keep you from the glorious fulfillment of the will of God. All things can help toward the salvation of your soul and end in God’s eternal glory.
My glorious Lord, You were loved by many but also hated by some. Those with power and authority could not see beyond their worldly ambitions, so they began to plot against You. Give me the grace, dear Lord, to see every act of evil inflicted upon me as an opportunity for You to bring forth good. You are glorious, dear Lord. May You be glorified in all things. Jesus, I trust in You.