Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Readings: Ezekiel 37:21-28; John 11:45-56
“Many of the Jews … believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, ‘What are we to do?’ “(John 11:45-47)
The tension is escalating. The pieces on the chessboard are moving into position: the King is about to be sacrificed because the other key players on the board mistake him for a pawn and believe he is expendable. Only the Queen has any idea of what is going on, but she is not recognised either.
Jesus has upset the status quo, and that breeds fear. People might not always like their present reality, but will still take consolation from its familiarity. Jesus puts everything in doubt. This is the fear that will escalate over the next few days until it culminates in the events of Good Friday.
During these days, Jesus is not the only one under pressure. Others are also struggling. The crowds swing backwards and forwards, welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and calling for his blood on Good Friday. The Pharisees will go on debating and Pharisees sympathetic to Jesus, like Nicodemus, will find themselves isolated. The disciples will pledge their undying allegiance and then run at the first sign of trouble. Pilate will sense that there is more to this man than meets the eye, and will attempt to keep the peace while exonerating his lack of action.
Only the holy women and John will stand their ground, led by the mother whose experience of her son has always been a mystery to her, and yet her faith never wavered. She witnesses to it all.
The question is: in our life of faith, do we exhibit the indecision of the majority, or do we stand our ground alongside the Queen?
Reflection by Shane Dwyer.
Reproduced with permission from Evangelisation Brisbane, an agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane, who have kindly supplied these daily Lenten 2021 reflections from their publication Look to Jesus: 52 Daily Reflections for Lent and Easter.