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Posts Tagged ‘Judith and Holofernes’


Monday, June 15, 2020

cloths-jesus[1]Micah 2

Plotting Against God’s Will

Those who have plots schemed against them will always find themselves in good company.  The Pharisees and the Jewish religious structure created and fomented plots first against Jesus and then against Jesus’ disciples because these speakers of truth threatened their power, their livelihood, and the supreme control they held over the lives of so many.  And this is what Micah offers us today: when the plotters spend time on their couches planning division and revenge, they do not see that they weave the schemata for their own downfall.

Frequently when we read the Gospels a story about Jesus ends with the line . . . and they went away plotting to silence him . . . to imprison him . . . to stone him . . . to do away with him.  When we read Acts, we find the same wording appearing in the stories of Peter, Paul and anyone who continues to bring love and healing to the poor in spirit, to the lame, and to the blind.  These loyal followers of Jesus – and we can count ourselves as companions of Christ – also have those who plot to bring about our fall.

We have observed recently that in the story of Esther we see Haman construct a gallows in front of his house so that he can watch the execution of the Jewish people.  Haman and his entire family die on that gallows.  In the Book of Judith Holofernes suffers the end he plans for the people of Bethulia.  God’s presence in these plots and the willingness of these two women to act in accordance with God makes holy acts of these schemes for evil.

This idea that intrigue will always be planned against the faithful sends us to a concordance where we find in the book of Proverbs a warning against plotting against the neighbor who lives trustfully near you (3:29), for this indicates deceit in the heart (12:20), leads us further astray (14:22), and puts us in the company of evil people (24:2).

In Psalms 2, 21, 31, 35, 37, 38, 64, 83 and 85 there are warnings against plotting and scheming in vain, creating terror on every side, slandering, gnashing teeth, and forming unholy alliances.

The prophet Nahum tells us that whatever the evil plot, the Lord will bring it to an end; and in the book of Nehemiah is the story of how Yahweh foils a plot against those who rebuild the walls and temple of Jerusalem.

Over and over in scripture we read stories of how the deceitful are brought down by their own machinations; and in our own lives we see this happen endlessly.  What is it about our narrow field of vision that does not permit humans to respond as we should to the obstacles in our path?  What is it that lures us into dark deceptive paths rather than join Christ in the journey of light for which we are made?  Why does division and power seem so appealing when in truth it is unity and collegiality that most reflect God’s plan?  Why do we covet so often, create illusion so well, and delight in working out evil on our couches?  If it is difficult to understand this darkness and those who delight in controlling us, we are in good company and despite the suffering we endure this is what we ultimately know – for we have been told so often: God assembles the faithful and this remnant will not be panicked; the shepherd will put away all anxiety; we will rejoice in hope and flourish in love.  This is God’s will.  This is God’s plan.

Tomorrow, a prayer to endure the work of plotters and schemers.


Adapted from a reflection first written on February 12, 2008.

Image from: http://www.jesus-story.net/peter_and_john.htm

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