“Many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.”

Holy Week begins where we left off Saturday: at the beginning of John 12 (1-11).  Jesus is visiting His very close friends, siblings Lazarus, Martha, and Mary, as they throw a dinner for Him.  Mary proceeds to anoint Jesus’ feet with expensive oil and dries them with her hair.  Judas complains (out of his own greed) about this “waste” but is reprimanded by Jesus.  A large crowd finds out that Jesus and Lazarus (raised from the dead) are there and descends upon the house.  Meanwhile the Jewish religious leaders plot to kill both Jesus and Lazarus because of the reason given in the headline of this post.  The “him” referred to is Lazarus.  And truly, Jesus did something wonderful for Lazarus: He raised him from the dead!  Is it any wonder that Jesus was gaining adherents?  Likewise, is it any wonder that Jesus’ adversaries wanted both dead, particularly in light of all we’ve read from John up to this point?  Should it not be that we also proclaim the wonders God has done for us so that He can work through us to bring others to Him?  And, while most of us will likely not have to fear physical death because of our beliefs (although there continue to be many martyrs around the world), can we accept joyfully a certain persecution than can come with public display and pronouncement of our faith (cf. Acts 5:41)?  What we want is for others to come to conversion and faith while we continue our process of conversion away from sin — at its worst, breaking our relationship with God, but even venially keeping us from a full union with the Almighty.

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