April 9, Saturday, 5th Week of Lent
Ezekiel 37:21-28, Gospel John 11:45-56
The first reading and the responsorial psalm taken from Jeremiah 31 are appeals to hold on to God’s promise to send the deliverer, the Messiah. Both assured us that the Lord is by the side of those who have faith in His promise.
On the other hand, the gospel presents the envious reaction of the Pharisees to the ways of Jesus. To them, Jesus posed such a threat that they planned to eliminate him to save their interests. Of course, this came under the guise of protecting the people.
We all have interests to protect. But such vested interests, just like the vested interests of the Pharisees, block us from seeing the fulfillment of God’s promise by following Jesus. Our agendas become a significant stumbling block for Jesus.
While we profess faith in Jesus, there are many instances when we become like the Pharisees. When our way of life is not attuned to a particular church’s teaching or mandate, we question the Church. It is ironic when we profess our faith in God, just like the Pharisees, but we reject Jesus’ way of peace. We are hypocritical when we say we are God’s followers yet leave his teachings because they run contrary to our ways. Worse, like the Pharisees, we judge and condemn those who bring light into the lives of others.
To hold on to God’s promise of salvation, then, is to believe it and embrace the demands that come with believing such a promise. This is setting aside our vested interests and letting go of our old sinful ways. We refuse to believe it and continue with our bad habits and vices. We cannot be believers only when it is convenient for us to be so.
May we indeed hold on to God’s promise of salvation? Only then can we be free of the horrible envious vested interest of wanting to put others down to save our own. Amen!
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.