"If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation.” Jn 11:48
The threat of losing their temple sanctuary, and the power and prestige associated with it, paralyzed the Jewish leaders of Jesus' day. Overwhelmed by the Roman presence in their "promised land," they did everything they could to preserve the few freedoms they had, and no small town healer or prophet, like Jesus of Nazareth, would be allowed to interfere.
When we are under pressure to perform or produce, we often refuse to listen to people on the edge of our societies for fear their viewpoints will further unravel a shaky foundation. A protective attitude and policy is natural, but, ultimately, unhelpful. Only a brutal and transparent honesty will allow us to go forward.
Jesus is clear in pointing out to the Jewish leaders that they had sold their birthright for the sake of a fragile security, and most of us can remember situations in which we took the same path. Peace at any price in our families, religious communities and parishes is a lurking temptation, but one we must resist.
Today, listen to the witness of Jesus without defensiveness.
What are your biggest temptations when trying to live the gospel?