Today’s Gospel: John 11:45-56
Today’s Gospel Reading shows the fears and insecurities of the Jewish leaders. The Sanhedrin convenes and plots to kill Jesus. Nonetheless, God allows the high priest, Caiaphas, to hear His Word and prophesy that Jesus would die “to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.”
Leave it to Omniscience to allow the Jewish leaders to put the Son of Man to death so that He could reunite all of His children!
It’s tempting to think that God is ours and that He needs to play favorites if we play by the rules. We act like the prodigal son’s older brother when we see and hear stories of scandal and return. We want to say, “Where’s my gold star? I’ve been here all along! You’re going to give them the royal treatment?! Didn’t you see what they did?!”
In those moments, we need to chew on what it means when we pray the words “OUR Father.” He’s the One, True God for EVERYONE, and we don’t get to be possessive when He extends His mercy to our less than perfect neighbors. (Perhaps we’d get down off of our high horses after a good Examination of Conscience.)
As The Catechism of the Catholic Church says,
“The baptized cannot pray to ‘our’ Father without bringing before him all those for whom he gave his beloved Son. God’s love has no bounds, neither should our prayer. Praying ‘our’ Father opens to us the dimensions of his love revealed in Christ: praying with and for all who do not yet know him, so that Christ may ‘gather into one the children of God.’ God’s care for all men and for the whole of creation has inspired all the great practitioners of prayer; it should extend our prayer to the full breadth of love whenever we dare to say ‘our’ Father” (CCC 2793).
How do my daily actions “put Jesus to death”? How can I help “gather into one the children of God”?
Our Father, thank You for the gift of Your Son. May we unite all of our sufferings, big and small, to His cross so that we can mystically help gather the children of God into one.
Copyright 2014 Catherine Boucher