SATURDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT

April 13, 2019

Ezekiel 37:21-28 

 

Thus says the Lord God: I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from every quarter, and bring them to their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all. Never again shall they be two nations, and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms. They shall never again defile themselves with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. I will save them from all the apostasies into which they have fallen, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes. They shall live in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, in which your ancestors lived; they and their children and their children’s children shall live there forever; and my servant David shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary among them forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations shall know that I the Lord sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary is among them forevermore.

 

 

Jeremiah 31:10-13 

 

Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
    and declare it in the coastlands far away;
say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him,
    and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.”
For the Lord has ransomed Jacob,
    and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.
They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
    and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
    and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall become like a watered garden,
    and they shall never languish again.
Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
    and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
    I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.

 

 

John 11:45-56 

 

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, 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? This man is performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to put him to death.

Jesus therefore no longer walked about openly among the Jews, but went from there to a town called Ephraim in the region near the wilderness; and he remained there with the disciples.

Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. They were looking for Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?”

 

(NRSVCE)

 

Meditation

 

In the Gospel, Caiaphas declares “it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” As high priest, he had already prophesied that Jesus was to die for the nation to gather into one the dispersed children of God. In the first reading and psalm we read how God is going to come to unite and restore the dispersed children of God. 

 

Ever since the beginning when God created man, he knew what was going to happen. He knew his creation would disobey him and separate themselves from his goodness. He knew sin and death would enter the world. From that time, he also had a plan for how he would restore his people. This plan for redemption was Jesus Christ. God came down in the form of a man to experience our suffering, take the consequence of sin upon himself, be tortured and die on a cross and rise again in order that, believing in Jesus, we might be restored to God. 

 

God knows about your suffering. He knows about your pain, your trials, your decisions, and all the parts of your life. He has always had a plan for your life as well. His plan is for restoration, goodness, joy, and a relationship with him. Today, take courage in the message of the Gospel and the prophesies about the death and resurrection of Jesus for your own life. 

 

Prayer: Thank you Father in heaven that you have always had a plan for my life. Thank you for loving me so much as to send Jesus to save me from being forever separated from you. I pray your will be accomplished in my life and for everyone I know to be restored to you. Amen.

 

 

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