Growing up in Ireland and hearing of a man who stole some cattle or made a quick pound by dubious means, I remember my father used to say, ‘It will do him no good.’ It was a definitive judgement with no blurred edges and I often think of it when I observe people doing something that is obviously against the common good.


For months now we have observed the unremitting bombing and killing in Gaza. Do the people who are responsible for the death of thousands of innocent children and helpless adults really think all this will ‘do them some good’? Do the overwhelmingly powerful perpetrators of this killing and destruction not realise – what must surely be obvious – that they are condemning themselves to living perpetually in a prison with armed guards everywhere. I was in Israel in 1972 and even then, there were signs of security everywhere. That was more than fifty years ago and I believe the situation has steadily got worse. People like to go to Israel to study Scripture but they have to take care wherever they go. What is this policy doing? Is it doing anyone any good?

It is baffling when we think these are the very people who inherited the covenants, the ancient scriptures especially the psalms:

The Lord is kind and full of compassion,

Slow to anger, abiding in love.

How good is the Lord to all, 

compassionate to all his creatures. (Ps 145:8)

Compassion! Where has it gone to in our world? The inheritors of these words seem full of revenge and hate. Will it do them any good? What are they achieving?

As we approach Holy Week, we approach a mirror in which we see ourselves. We look into that mirror and see the bitterness, pain and suffering we, human beings, inflict on one another. We see the hardness of heart of the High Priest and the elders representing the Jewish people; the incomprehension, indifference and unwillingness to seek understanding of Pilate representing the gentiles. Jesus can make no headway with any of these people. All they can say is, ‘Away with him! Crucify him!’ And Pilate washes his hands, turning away from the choice he could have made to bring justice. So Jesus goes on his way, carrying his cross. His ultimate and definitive offering of himself mysteriously breaks open a way to a new world. His death is not the end. It is more like a beginning. But a beginning we have to welcome with head and heart.

17 March 2024 Lent Sunday 5B Jer 31:31-4   Heb 5:7-9 John 12:20-23


Post published in: Faith
  1. sasha dobrota

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