Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday of 5th Week

There's a story of a French journalist, an atheist, who went to Lourdes in order to see a miracle. Nothing big; just a cut finger healing over; this God who didn't exist anyway wouldn't have to do very much. He met a woman whose face was disfigured by tuberculosis. He met her again a little later, healed but scarred where the tuberculosis had been. He refused to look at her and walked away, saying that he would not believe no matter how many miracles took place.

The Gospel today comes in the wake of one of the last miracles of Christ's ministry, and by no means the least: the raising of Lazarus. The Sanhedrin gets word of it, and they believe it – but they do not believe Christ. There is nothing, not even the raising of a man from the dead, that can move them to do that. They believe the miracle, but their response is to figure out how to silence Jesus before the Romans decide to. Caiaphas, the high priest, the man who by right should have been first to follow Jesus, makes what seems a purely political decision. It is in fact a prophecy but, deadened as he is to God, he does not realize it.

“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.” On that note, we enter into Holy Week.

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