The reading today (John 11,45-56) describes what happens after Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Unable to accept him, the Jewish leaders decide to put him to death. Their meeting anticipates the final meeting of the Sanhedrin, which will seek the death sentence from Pilate, the Roman procurator, before the feast of Passover.
Caiaphas, the high priest, sees political consequences if Jesus isn’t stopped– the Romans will step in at the slightest sign of a political troublemaker. But John’s gospel sees divine consequences when evil is pitted against good. The high priest’s own words predict God’s reversal: “ he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.”
The passion and resurrection of Jesus is God’s great sign that good triumphs over evil. God has the last word and, difficult as it is, we’re called to believe in his power to triumph over evil, however entrenched it may seem to be in our world and in our lives.
Mystics like Paul of the Cross firmly believed in God’s power to reverse evil and turn things to the good; their vision was nourished by meditation on the passion of Jesus.
“Just as our dear Jesus spent his life here on earth to be ever spent in the midst of hardships, labors, privations, anguish, scorn, calumnies, thorns and the cruel death of the cross, so he made me realize that in embracing him, I must live my life in the midst of suffering. And oh, with what joy did my poor soul embrace every kind of hardship!” (Letter 51)
Lord, I thank you for dying on the cross
and bringing life to the world.
Give me faith to believe in your victory over evil.