Political philosophers have been working for centuries on coming up with a perfect society, a perfect world, a utopia and in their passionate writings have been trying to convince the educated and thinkers that this is possible; but yet here we are, centuries later without our utopia, without the perfect world in which to live, raise our families and co-exist peacefully. We do not live in a perfect world. We are without a world where we needn’t make heroic and complete personal sacrifices: this ought not be a reflection that is dour or down-trodden. This is the world in which Jesus Christ came into, and was ordained for all time to make the ultimate sacrifice of His life for others. There is little point in reflecting on what if He didn’t have to. The state of humanity being what it is didn’t allow for that possibility.
In today’s Gospel Caiaphas says “is it not better that one man be sacrificed…” and of course we know it shouldn’t be. Caiaphas and the religious leaders we obviously know they got it wrong, and they were motivated by selfish reasons – but they set in motion the greatest sacrifice ever [in magnitude and in love]! We have to be prepared to do the same (even though what will be asked of us won’t likely ever equal that). I think of priesthood today. My experience, and the shared experience of many men discerning is to be fearful of what will be asked of us; and if we give in to the temptation to avoid that possibility and/or the answer and outcome – we will never discover our real vocation. We have to be ready to make sacrifices, there is not a vocation out there that won’t require them, and even though our hearts might be filled with trepidation we need the strength & courage to persevere.
One man sacrificed; He did that in love. Others avoid sacrifice or hope that others will make the sacrifice instead of them. This is not the Christian way of life. As we prepare now to enter Jerusalem with our Lord let us think about the sacrifices we are prepared to make in order to live the life God has in store for us; may we come to know in greater ways today and everyday what that (our vocation) may be.