Tuesday, January 29. 2019
When the crowd learned that Jesus was there in Bethany, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the people were deserting the Temple’s authority and were instead believing in what Jesus was saying and doing. – John 12:9-11
When authority is challenged, it so often defends itself by way of desperate means. When power is threatened, it so often tries to save itself by way of violence and oppression. When evil is exposed, it so often rages with even greater evil.
In the beginning, in the eyes of the Temple authorities Jesus was but another voice in the countryside, a novelty, a curiosity. But as time went by, He became a nuisance, a troubling ripple in the waters, someone to keep an eye on. But by this time, this Galilean rabbi had become a threat, a leader of a growing movement who must be dealt with and dealt with quickly and, if need be, ruthlessly.
Evil begets evil. It starts as a minor infection in the soul of the ambitious. Then it spreads first unseen and then as an outbreak. Evil does not like to lose any of its garnered power and will resort to evil ways to defend its authoritarian rule. Evil always gets defensive when challenged and, in the end, with desperate aggression. Evil spreads. Evil intensifies. Evil snarls.
Christ was crucified because of accusations brought by the Jerusalem Temple authorities; but Lazarus, he survived and became a leader in the Early Church. It is the way with movements of God in human history. Some are sacrificed only to become a more powerful living force because of that sacrifice; others endure, becoming the ongoing witness in the fulfillment of God’s wish for change.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz