The battle of Iwo Jima ended today in 1945. About 22,000 Japanese troops were killed or captured in the fighting and more than 4,500 U.S. troops were killed. I still question the need, or want, for war and death through violence. What a waste of God’s creations!
Little known fact: Today is the feast day of Rupert of Salzburg (660? – 710) in the Roman Catholic Church. He is a saint in both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, and a founder of the Austrian city of Salzburg.
Today’s reflection is about the jealousy the Temple elders had towards Jesus.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
Always remember you’re unique, just like everyone else.
Many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done began to believe in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, “What are we going to do? This man is performing many signs. If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation.” (NAB Jn 11:45-48)
The Sanhedrin was the high court for the Jewish race in ancient Palestine. They ruled over the people of the area as a government function. During the time of Jesus, the chief priest of the Temple was also the head of the Sanhedrin, and was responsible to the Roman authorities for the actions of the Jewish people in that city. The Temple had a “police force” of sorts, called the Temple Guard. They carried weapons, but were no match for the Roman soldiers stationed within the city.
The Chief Priest of Jerusalem at this time was named Caephus. The Roman Official for the area of Judea (that included Jerusalem) was called the Procurator, or Roman Governor. At the time of Jesus, this man was Pontius Pilate.
The Sanhedrin did not want any commotion within their ranks, or among inhabitants of the city, for fear of retribution from the Roman officials. The Roman Governor could remove anyone from the Temple leadership if they upset the balance of affairs. Literally, they could lose their income, home, and prestige if Pilate became mad at them. Pontius Pilate also had concerns equally stressful. Historians believe he was not in a good light with the Tetrarch (Ruler), Herod Antipas, and did not want any uprisings to be made aware to Him.
The Temple elders devised a plan to have the “antagonist,” Jesus, brought up on charges, and then executed. This was the only way to keep the Romans from coming; and to safeguard their positions and prestige. With an ironic twist, this is exactly what does happen. The Romans do come, after Jesus’ death.
According to Wikipedia, the Sanhedrin was dissolved after continued persecution by the Roman Empire. The last binding decision of the Sanhedrin was in 358, when the Hebrew Calendar was adopted.
I believe Jesus would have welcomed all the temple priests with an open heart. Because they had “closed” hearts and eyes, they could not see or feel Jesus’ love. Greed overtook their souls. I see this today in many people that are supposed to be our leaders: some in politics, some in religion, and some in our own families and offices. We need to open their eyes, so they can open their hearts to the love of God, and the need to love all others with the same intensity.
“Father, give me open eyes and an open heart to feel your love. Please allow me to work through you, so others can know your love as well. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Catholic Saint of the Day: St. Rupert
Bishop and missionary, also listed as Robert of Hrodbert. A member of a noble Frankish family, he was appointed bishop of Worms, Germany, and then dedicated himself to spreading the faith among the Germans. With the patronage of Duke Thedo of Bavaria, he took over the deserted town of luvavum about 697, which was renamed Salzburg, Austria. Rupert founded a church, a monastery, and a school; brought in groups of missionaries; and established a nunnery at Nonnberg with his sister, Eerentrudis, serving as the first abbess. He died at Salzburg and is venerated as the first archbishop of this major diocese in the West. Rupert is revered as the Apostle of Bavaria and Austria. Feast day is March 27.
(From http://www.catholic.org/saints/ website)
Prologue to the Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule, Chapter 1:
All who love the Lord with their whole heart, with their whole soul and mind, with all their strength (cf. Mk 12:30), and love their neighbors as themselves (cf. Mt 22:39) and hate their bodies with their vices and sins, and receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and produce worthy fruits of penance.
Oh, how happy and blessed are these men and women when they do these things and persevere in doing them, because “the spirit of the Lord will rest upon them” (cf. Is 11:2) and he will make “his home and dwelling among them” (cf Jn 14:23), and they are the sons of the heavenly Father (cf. Mt 5:45), whose works they do, and they are the spouses, brothers, and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Mt 12:50).