Good Reason To Love

Caiaphas said to them, “You know nothing, nor do you consider
that 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

This is not my favorite scripture passage. Caiaphas sends a chill down my spine. He’s speaking about Jesus, the Good Shepherd who would leave his entire flock to find one lost sheep. He’s speaking about the Father of the Prodigal Son who gave that young man half his wealth, watched him squander it and then welcomed him home. Caiaphas mustn’t have heard the parable about the pearl of great price for which a man sold everything. He must have missed the tale of the woman who swept up and dusted her house again and again until she found her precious coin. Poor Caiaphas seems to have missed everything of importance that Jesus said because he’s blinded and deafened by his desire to maintain his own stature and to remain in power.

You know, there are many people near and far who are distracted by their troubles as well. Though some have lost their perspective through selfishness much like Caiaphas, most suffer distractions wielded upon them by the unexplained and/or deliberate injustices of our human existence. Perhaps Caiaphas’ callousness serves as a reminder that many of our fellow humans have little about which to rejoice today. Perhaps Caiaphas’ hatred of Jesus encourages us to love as Caiaphas could not love. Perhaps Caiaphas’ influence finally changes its direction because it inspires us to care for those who need us most.

Good and Gracious God, thank you for using even our weaknesses to teach us to love.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Reason To Love

Caiaphas said to them, “You know nothing, nor do you consider
that 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

This is not my favorite scripture passage. Caiaphas sends a chill down my spine. He is speaking about the Good Shepherd who would leave his entire flock to find one lost sheep. He is speaking about the Father of the Prodigal Son who gave that young man half his wealth, watched him squander it and then welcomed him home. Caiaphas must not have heard the parable about the pearl of great price for which a man sold everything. He must have missed the tale of the woman who swept up and dusted her house again and again until she found her precious coin. Poor Caiaphas has missed everything of importance that Jesus said because he is blinded and deafened by his desire to maintain his stature and to remain in power.

You know, there are many people near and far who are distracted by their troubles as well. Though some have lost their perspective through selfishness much like Caiaphas, most suffer distractions wielded upon them by the unexplainable and/or deliberate injustices of our human existence. Perhaps Caiaphas’ callousness serves as a reminder that many of our fellow humans have little about which to rejoice today. Perhaps Caiaphas’ hatred of Jesus encourages us to love as he could not love. Perhaps Caiaphas’ influence finally changes its direction in our care for those who need us most.

Good and Gracious God, thank you for using even our weaknesses to teach us to love.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Walk With Him

Caiaphas said to them, “You know nothing,
nor do you consider that it is better for you
that one man should die instead of the people,
so that the whole nation may not perish.”

John 11:49-50

It is Palm Sunday Eve. Because I am involved in Holy Week preparations at my church, images of the first Holy Week have swirled about in my mind for days. Though I have tried to set aside time to spend with God every day throughout Lent, Holy Week is a special opportunity for me to do this. I wasn’t in Jerusalem two thousand years ago, and I don’t know what my response to Jesus would have been if I had been there. I am here now, and today I am certain of my response to Jesus, his example and his teachings. So it is that I keep in mind those images from long ago…

While Jesus and the disciples prepare to enter Jerusalem tomorrow, Caiaphas unfolds his plan. He will see to the demise of the Good Shepherd, the one who would leave his entire flock to find a lost sheep. It seems that poor Caiaphas has missed everything of importance that Jesus said regarding God’s mercy and inclusiveness and unconditional love. Poor Caiaphas is blinded and deafened by his desire to maintain his stature and his power. Caiaphas misses Jesus’ assertion that each one of us, including Caiaphas, is worth anything and everything Jesus will endure in the week ahead.

As I journey through this coming week, I will turn the tables on Jesus as well. Rather than waiting for my Good Shepherd to find me, I will find Jesus in his hour of need and walk with him every step of the way.

Merciful God, though I was not present to make the choice to be with Jesus that first Holy Week, I am here today. Together, Jesus and I will retrace the road to Calvary.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Saturday, The Fifth Week fo Lent

Caiaphas said to them, “You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.”
From John 11:45-56

The words of Caiaphas send a chill down my spine. He is speaking about the Good Shepherd, the one who would leave his entire flock to find a lost sheep. He is speaking about the Father of the Prodigal Son who gave that young man half his wealth, watched him squander it and then welcomed him home. Caiaphas must not have heard the parable about the pearl of great price for which a man sold everything. He must have missed the tale of the woman who swept up and dusted her house again and again until she found the precious coin she had lost. Poor Caiaphas has missed everything of importance that Jesus said because he is blinded and deafened by his desire to maintain his stature and his power. Still, Jesus made it clear that each one of us, including the elusive Caiaphas, is worth anything and everything he would go through to bring us home.

It is not easy to stop caring about the things that are important to us, even when we realize that they are keeping us from the best friend we will ever have. Nonetheless, we must try. Through our Lenten journeys, we attempt to reverse the search. Rather than waiting for the Good Shepherd to come and to carry us home, we flock to Jesus in his hour of need.

Precious Lord, though I was not present to make the choice to be with you that first Holy Week, I am here today. So it is that I will muster the courage and the generosity of spirit to set my needs aside as this week unfolds. Together, let us retrace your steps to Calvary.