[Jesus] said to the Pharisees,
“Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?”
But they remained silent.
Looking around at them with anger
and grieved at their hardness of heart,
Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”
He stretched it out and his hand was restored.
The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel
with the Herodians against him to put him to death. (Mk 3:4-6)
I often ask myself just how much Jesus’ heart was broken when He knew that His people wanted to kill Him for doing the will of His Father. Jesus was not a terrorist, He was not a bad man, He was not an evil influence. He was simply doing the will of God: healing the sick, raising the dead, proclaiming the Good News to all who would listen.
And for that, He was a marked man.
The reason, of course, was because every time Jesus performed a miracle, He brought more people over to His Father. Bringing more people over to Him meant that He was taking people away from the leaders of the time. That was something that they simply did not tolerate.
They saw their popularity and their sphere of influence eroding with Jesus in their midst. They made the conclusion that the only way they could ensure a resurgence of their popularity and influence was to rid themselves — once and for all — of the Lord.
When we begin to think that Jesus is a distraction or a threat in our lives, we have definitely strayed from the path that leads to the Kingdom. Yet, there are many times that we act as if the Lord were in our way. We may think that the Ten Commandments are just too hard to follow and try to find ways to ignore them. We may think that the precepts of the Church are too stringent and find excuses to live without following them.
We may also fear that, if we follow the Lord, others will reject us at best or harm us at worst. That fear may keep us from doing God’s will.
All those attitudes were the attitudes that put Jesus on the cross. Instead of rejecting the Lord, live for the Lord this day.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those who are in jeopardy simply for doing the will of God, that they may have the strength to endure what comes their way.