Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and they conspired to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.” – Matthew 26:3-5
The evil that devout people conspire to do under the guise of holy cause. The chief priests and elders were supposedly men of God but, in truth, were more about worldly power and Jewish nationalism. They wanted to be rid of this Galilean messiah, this self-anointed one, who was stirring up the hope and fervor of the commoners putting at risk their own plans to deal with the Roman occupation. They had negotiated a nervous and tentative peace with the Romans, but this charismatic rabbi and his following might trigger a heavy-handed military response. And as the chief priests and elders conspired, I believe they often invoked the name of God.
What is truly tragic is that throughout the centuries since this conclave of conspiracy to kill Christ, even Christians have invoked the name of God to do evil. Usually they blind themselves to the evil they are doing by overly focusing on this cause or that cause. They burn heretics in order to preserve what they have declared the correct doctrine. They conquer lands and even kill the natives to claim lands in the name of the Lord. They abandon wise discernment and compassionate ethic in a war against the sins they have selected. They hide and conspire to gain control of the worldly powers so that they might accomplish their “holy” mission through questionably unholy means.
How did Christ usher in this new universal realm of God? By way of self-giving sacrifice, a sacrifice of Love. By way of unbelievable mercy, a merciful grace. By way of a gift of Peace, a spirit filled with the Hope of God.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz