In the Gospel reading on Saturday, April 1st, the day be for Palm Sunday, John’s gospel (Jn11:45-56) gives us the Session of the Sanhedrin. Many members are upset to hear about Jesus’ popularity among the people and that he will be entering Jerusalem. The High Priest, Caiaphas, makes a startling prophesy!
The publication, Word Among Us, provides a Daily Meditation on the Mass readings everyday and the one on April 1st was excellent and follows here.
To gather into one dispersed children of God. (John 11:52)
Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, when we will walk with our Lord through all the events of his passion and death. And today’s gospel gives us a perfect lens for viewing those events. When Caiaphas, the high Priest, told the Jewish leaders, “It is better for you the one man should die instead of the people,” he probably didn’t fully understand what he was saying (John 11:50). But John tells us that Caiaphas had prophesied: through his death, Jesus would “gather into one of the dispersed children of God” (11:52). In hindsight, we see that this is exactly what Jesus was doing: he was gathering all people to his Father.
When he entered Jerusalem, Jesus gathered his people to celebrate God’s closeness and acclaim his kingship (John 12:12-19). In doing this, he foreshadowed the celebration of heaven, when he will gather people from every nation to worship before the throne of God (Revelation 7:9-17)
When he celebrated the Passover, Jesus gathered his disciples to wash their feet and offered them his body and blood (John 13:1-20; Matthew 26:26-28). Even more, he commanded them to “do this in memory of me” (Luke 22:19). He made a way to gather all his future disciples as well – even us! We can rejoice together at the Eucharist and proclaim Jesus’ death until he returns (1Corinthians 11:26).
When Jesus accepted Pilate’s unjust condemnation (John 19:16), he gathered all sinners to himself. By offering himself on Calvary, he took upon himself every sin so that through him, every sinner can receive forgiveness (1Peter 2:24; John 3:16).
Finally, when the risen Jesus forgave Peter’s betrayal he reestablished him as the chief apostle, the one who would continue to gather believers in Jesus name (John 21: 15-19). The Lord never stops gathering his people to himself!
As you enter Holy Week, remember that Jesus is gathering you in. He is bringing you home to his Father and to your brothers and sisters in Christ. Let him draw you close. Receive his mercy and forgiveness and take your place in his family.
“Lord Jesus, get me into your family.”