Fr Paul Gooley reads today from the John (11: 45-56) in which the Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest for that year said that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for nation alone, but to gather in unity the scattered children of God.

Fr Paul says the Gospel today takes us to the aftermath of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. It is typical of John’s contrasts that the gift of life given to Lazarus brings death to Jesus: It is because of the crowds going out from Jerusalem and walking the 20 minutes to Bethany to see the renewed Lazarus that the High Priest holds this meeting.

The most important point of the meeting of the Jewish leaders is Caiaphas’ unconscious prophecy. Caiaphas says more than he realizes; you fail to see that it is better for one man to die for the people, than for the whole nation to be destroyed. These words of Caiaphas have an uncanny echo, when Jesus says, ‘The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many’.

For our reflection today, Fr Paul invites us to take some time to dwell on the fact that Jesus has to die and he has to die for us.