Father Rick’s One Minute Homily for Saturday, the 5th Week in Lent
April 1, 2023 – John 11:45-56
Go to Ephraim.
I learned a long time ago, and perhaps you have, too, that nothing good can come out of a decision when made out of fear.
Consider the Pharisees. More people started believing in Jesus because of his miracles. The Pharisees stated, “If we let him go on like this, the world will believe in him. Then the Romans will come in and sweep away our sanctuary and our nation.”
Little did they know then that the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A. D. When faced with his approaching death, Jesus had a different response than fear. John tells us that he withdrew to a town called Ephraim, a region near the desert.
He wasn’t escaping or running away. Like other times in his life, Jesus needed time with his Father. We do not find the strength to face any opposition to our faith in books, CDs, or retreats.
These can give us good ideas and knowledge, which has its place in defending our faith. But true strength to endure spiritual battle comes from prayer – time spent with Jesus alone in the sanctuary of our hearts. Consider the number of times Jesus entered into prayer: when he began his public ministry Jesus went into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights to pray.
He prayed the whole night before calling his disciples to follow him. In today’s gospel, he goes to Ephraim to pray. Before His arrest, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray and be with his Father.
When do you and I need to withdraw and go to Ephraim to be with our Father?
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC
Fr. Rick Pilger, I.C.
Blessed Sacrament Church
11565 66th Ave. N.
Seminole, FL 33772