The Gospel Today
Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent
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?”
When Pope Francis took over the papacy that Pope emeritus Benedict XVI left, everyone was caught and surprised by the examples he lived out. It was as if the first time in the history of the Catholic Church a pope would go down to the people and be with them literally. After his election, Pope Francis was seen falling in line to pay for the hotel reservation he had. He was also seen eating at the cafeteria with the Swiss Guard. There were even times in the midnight when he goes out to the kitchen and look for food to give to the poor outside.
All the things that Pope Francis are doing are ordinary and we can say what a person should be doing. But all the more it became extra ordinary for others because he is a pope. Someone who has a high position and powerful. But is it not a leader should be serving?
Our world had been destroyed not only physically but also by the way we think. Our notion of a leader had been different since it became a position of power. Power has been a means for ruling and not serving. Authority has been the name for a leader and not a means to exercise. We are all surprised because we have not seen such a person in the past who has the power and authority that would also stoop down to the lowly and marginalized to serve and live with them. Our world today is not far from the time of Jesus. The Pharisees and chief priests were alarmed and warned by the miracles and healing Jesus was doing then. For they have not seen such person who could perform good deeds. The power that Jesus exemplified was a kind of power that brought goodness and wellness to people. The authority He had was not a kind of the leaders of that time. He went to the needy and lowly to perform His task. He did not stand as a leader who has many servants but a servant who led the people to God.
This is what our world needs today. There is a seemingly scarcity of witnessing that is happening around us. This is the reason why we are surprised when a person in authority and power goes out of his way to serve, because our notion of leadership had been distorted by utilitarian thinking. We do not live humanely but materially. We are so much engrossed with what our position can give us instead of what our position can give others. That is why in the seminary, we are being led and formed into the image and likeness of Christ, which primarily how man in the first place was made. We are being restored to what had been destroyed by the society outside. So that in our ministry when we become a priest, the power and authority that we will exercise are that of Christ’s. We live to bring life to the people and this is the challenge of the Gospel for today, to be a witness of Jesus to the world.