The Gospel from today’s Mass (John 12:1-11) provides an amazing insight into Jesus’ grand view of eternity:

[1] Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Laz’arus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. [2] There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Laz’arus was one of those at table with him.  [3] Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. [4] But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said,  [5] “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” [6] This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. [7] Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. [8] The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” [9] When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Laz’arus, whom he had raised from the dead. [10] So the chief priests planned to put Laz’arus also to death, [11] because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

Jesus Christ, as always, is in charge of His life, putting His plan in place with magnificence:

  • Recall that Jesus as raised Lazarus, an act that had already drew throngs of people (John 11:45-46), people who had immediately gone to the Pharisees in Jerusalem.  Some no doubt were sharing the Gospel to evangelize; some were simply Pharisee spies who perhaps were paid for their ‘reports’.
  • Now, Jesus returns to Bethany, and the crowds from Jerusalem are back, perhaps to see the Great Rabbi, or to catch a glimpse of another miracle. Or to again, spy for the Pharisees.
  • The chief priests are planning to kill not only Jesus, but also Lazarus.
  • Of course, Jesus, knows this.  All of this is part of His Divine Plan.
  • These crowds are the same people who believe and rush to worship Jesus as a king when He enters Jerusalem the very next day (John 12:12-13).
  • As a side note, Jesus protects Lazarus from another premature death; Church tradition passes on that Lazarus goes on to live a long life, becoming the Bishop of Marseilles (which means “spring”, an apt name for Lazarus who enjoyed  both the life of a new springtime and the life of the living waters from the Spring of Christ).

Jesus sees the big picture in all things, knowing how His plan will work out for our Salvation.  He performs miracles to draw people to Him, people who both love Him and betray Him, people who play a part in the Universal Story of Salvation History.

It was true then; it is true now.  What role are you playing in Jesus’s plan of Salvation?