April 12, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent

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?”

Reflection (Sem. Jonathan Cigaral):

     “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.”  The Gospel for today is an invitation for everyone to be united despite our individual differences.  It is the death of Jesus Christ, His cross and resurrection which are the source of our communion and fraternity.

     I entered the seminary last 2012.  It was when I came to know my batchmates.  We started five in our batch.  However, one went out a week after the entrance day for some personal reasons.  Thus, only four remained – four brothers who are totally strangers with each other went on board to the boat of formation.  In the very beginning of our journey as brothers, the cross of Jesus Christ played a very significant role in strengthening our bond as we embark into our voyage towards priesthood.  Jesus Christ showed us that in the midst of all the turbulence that we will encounter in the ocean of our formation, strong wind and rain that will try to overturn our boat, great forces that will try to pull the four of us to disintegrate, it is His cross that will serve as our stronghold to keep us up float in our journey.

     Two years have passed and indeed, the journey was never easy.  Our brokenness, differences, weaknesses and even strengths served as great waves that almost capsized our boat and pulled us apart.  This hidden violence in ourselves opposed our unity.  But Jesus Christ’s is always there to remind us on how we started in our journey – with the cross in our hands.  As we continue further in our formation, the waves will be bigger, the turbulence will be tougher, the wind and rain will be stronger, but holding the cross firmly in our hands will topple all of these.  God’s love is far greater than any of the trials that will come in our journey.  His cross and resurrection will always be the source of our communion and fraternity.                           

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