Daily Reflection
March 22nd, 2000
Joan Howard
University College
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Jeremiah 18:18-20
Psalms 31:5-6, 15-16
Matthew 20:17-28

These readings, as so many during the Lenten season, are full of confusion.  The images are of life and death, dying and rising.   For a modern day reader there are many challenges.  The message is very counter cultural.  None of us want to be killed for what we say.  Neither do we want to be the servant of the servants.  The image just does not work, if it ever did.

What is the message and where is the good news?  I think the message may be something along the lines of the distinction between the message and the messenger.  By killing the messenger, the message is not likewise destroyed.  In our world today we can be very selective about the messages we listen to and the ones we ignore - the ones we try to do away with.  Jesus, in trying to prepare the Apostles for what was coming, is sidetracked by the mother of Zebedee’s sons who does not hear the message.  She is focused on the future status of her sons.  She is a very human character, not a villain.

The question for me during this Lenten season is what is distracting me from hearing and paying attention to Christ and his message?  Distractions, some call addictions which is a much harsher but possible more realistic word, are always around.   Addictions range from the total attention to the routine of the day to over indulgence of whatever.  Addictions are not just medical concerns, they are social and, most importantly, spiritual concerns.  Distractions, addictions can  be
food, clothing, life style, job - anything which attracts us more than does our God.  What could be more attractive than the God who loves me?

Walking with Jesus along the Lenten path is an opportunity to stop and listen and ‘be’ with Christ.  It is a time to let go of what holds me and to hold onto Christ.  It is a time to drink of His cup. 

The good news is that God, who loves us deeply, understands that we are confused and easily distracted.  Even the apostles who were right there with Christ could not stay focused.  They too were pulled into the distraction of status and position. 

I must keep reminding myself how much God loves me and how patient she is.  If I can keep this message in focus this lent, I know that I will be walking closer to Christ.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.
Online Ministries
Home Page
for Sunday
Online Retreat
Daily Readings Texts
from the
New American Bible
Daily Readings Texts
from the
RSV Bible
Spirituality Links
Saint of the Day
Collaborative Ministry Office 
Home Page
University Ministry
Home Page
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook