Saturday, 5th Week of Lent               

            God has given us the precious gift of freedom, and he respects that freedom. Some people abuse their freedom by doing evil, but God, rather take freedom away, uses his wisdom to draw good from evil. This is an important lesson that we see in today’s gospel passage.

            The chief priests and the Pharisees were afraid that if the people were to follow Jesus, the Romans would come and take over their temple and their country. Caiaphas, the high priest, using his freedom of decision, told his companions that the simplest solution to the problem was to kill Jesus. He pointed out that it was better for this one man to die than for the whole nation to be destroyed. From that day on the leaders of the people plotted to kill Jesus.

            What Caiaphas ang the others did not realize was that God would draw good from their evil plan, and even from the words of Caiaphas. It was indeed “better for you that one man should die instead of the people” – better that Jesus die in sacrifice than for the whole human race to perish in sin. God the Father’s plan was that the death of his Son would atone for our sins. He allowed the leaders of the people to set in motion all the events that led to the death of Jesus because he knew that his Son would accept death eagerly and willingly for the salvation of the world.

            We are in a position to see how God worked good through the evil plot to kill Jesus. In our own lives, at the present moment, it is often difficult or even sometimes impossible to know just what God has in mind when he allows evil. Perhaps we think that if we were running the world, we would do things differently. Miriam Defensor Santiago said that she could not believe in a God who is supposed to be all love but allows so much pain and evil. “This God is an underachiever… He does not do what he is supposed to be doing.” “If I were a God, I’ll be doing a better job.”

            We must have the faith to believe that God knows what he is doing. His respect for freedom allows evil, but in his wisdom, he knows how to draw good from evil – and in his love he does so. God’s ways are not our ways… but his ways are the best!

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