‘Mark’ this week
On Monday we switch back to the liturgical cycle in Ordinary time. Just for one week, the ninth week in ordinary time, we will dwell on the twelfth chapter of the Gospel of Mark. It’s St. Mark all week long before we switch to St. Matthew in the tenth week in ordinary time. Chapter twelve of the gospel of Mark consists of passages, often called the ‘interrogation passages’, highlighting the plot by the Jewish authorities to trap Jesus.
Sandwiched between the triumphant entry into Jerusalem (chapter 11) and the last supper, (chapter 14) the passages of chapter 12 and 13 contain the last of Jesus’ interactions before His passion and death. The stage is the temple of Jerusalem, the protagonist is Jesus and the villains are played by the Jewish authorities.
The game plan of the Jewish leaders, seen in the readings of this week, is the same. Get Jesus by hook or by crook even if one has to play ‘good cop and bad cop’. That is exactly what they did. First they sent in the big guns (11:27) the chief priests, scribes and the elders. When that failed, they sent to Him the legal eagles in the guise of the Pharisees and Herodians (12:13), who ironically could never get along for they hated each other.
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