Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Listening to first reading (Ezekiel 37:21-28), I cannot help but think of God as a mother hen, congregating the children of Israel back together and correcting them not to worship idols or give into apostasy. To help facilitate this return, God brings together the people to make them again into one nation (Israel) with one ruler (David) and return them to land of Jacob that God had previously given them. By having the people return back to God, God will once again make a covenant with them so that all nations will know that God, the Lord is with them. The canticle picks up on this theme as we repeat, “The Lord will guide us as a shepherd guards his flock” (Jeremiah 31:10d).
However, while Jesus strives to concretely unite the people, we are once again plunged into the background conversations from the Sanhedrin. It is from this talk that we hear Caiaphas’ utilitarian approach to solve the “Jesus problem.” “It is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish” (John 11:50). Before anyone enters into the Spiritual Exercises, one is immediately aware that even though the person walks with Jesus through his ministry during the Second Week, one has to also walk with Jesus during his Passion (the Third Week). As we step into Palm Sunday tomorrow, let us remember as friends in the Lord, we head into the end of this Lenten season ready to die to sin and all that holds us back from life with God. In this way, as we die with Christ, we believe we will also live with Christ (Romans 6:8).