“It is better to have one man die for the people than to have the whole world destroyed” (Jn.11.50). Yes, these words said by Caiaphas, the high priest was really a prophecy, though he did not fully understand the mystery and plan of God the Father behind it. Jesus came to die ‘not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God’ (vs 52). As St. John says in his first letter, “Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but for the sins of the whole world” (2.2)
We have entered into the Passion Week, starting with the Palm Sunday celebrating the Jerusalem entry of Jesus, singing the hymn:
“The King of glory comes,
The nation rejoices,
Open the gates before Him,
Lift up your voices”
About five hundred years prior to Jesus’ birth, God prophesied through prophet Zecharia: “Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (9.9).
As we have entered into the Holy Week, let us allow the Holy Spirit to ‘waken our ears to listen to what the Lord teaches us’ (cfr. Is.50.4).The deep mysteries of His work of Salvation of the whole world are revealed to us through the Holy Scripture which we read, hear and meditate in this Solemn week. Let us be away from the daily schedule of our ‘busy and hectic life’ and heed to the loving invitation of our Lord: “Come away to a deserted place all by yourself and rest a while” (Mk.6, 31). The Lord is calling us to imitate Him in making God’s will our daily food, take up our day today cross and follow Him, to deny ourselves, and to lose our life for Him so that we may experience His abundant life.
He had said: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15.13). And he fully translated His words into His life. “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (Jn 13.34). Everybody, all religions tell about loving others. But only Jesus Christ gave us a criterion for our love: “Just as I have loved you, love one another”. Let us open our ears to listen to the still voice of the Lord teaching us to love others following in His footsteps.
As we are at the closure of the Lenten Season, may we be conformed a bit more to His likeness by trying to ‘live the life of Christ in our sinful flesh though faith in Jesus Christ’ (cfr. Gal.2.20)