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Homily (Reflection) for Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent (8th April, 2017) on the Gospel
 

Ezek 37:21-28;
Jer 31:10-13 (R. v. 10);
Jn 11:45-56.

Topic: Dog in the manger.
Today’s gospel continues from the last verse of last Sunday’s gospel. The miracle of raising Lazarus from death led some of the Jews into believing in Jesus whereas some reported what happened to the Pharisees. The chief priests called a meeting of the council and asked, “What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. And if we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him....”
We remember that the Pharisees consider themselves the yardstick for measuring the correctness/incorrectness of what to believe, cf. Jn 7:48-49. In today’s gospel however, they are not comfortable with others believing in Jesus. We also read, “Nevertheless many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, lest they should be put out of the synagogue” (Jn 12:42).
Jesus came that all may have life, and have it more abundantly, cf. Jn 10:10. Yet many refused to come to Him that they may have life, cf. Jn 5:40. The problem today just like in the gospel is not just that many vowed not to come to Him but have also vowed to prevent others from doing so.
While denouncing the lawyers Jesus said, “Woe to you lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering” (Lk 11:52). We must avoid constituting problems for those making effort towards Jesus. Jesus warned, “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt 18:6; cf. Mk 9:42; Lk 17:2).
 Bible Reading: Matt 18:6-9.
Thought for today: Why trouble others?
Let us pray: God, help us in our struggle to be truly yours and may we not constitute any form of hindrance for others – Amen.

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