Watching With One Another
Today’s feast of Mark the Evangelist interrupts the ongoing cycle of Easter readings. But our visiting of the First Letter of Peter offers a perspective on the Easter mystery as lived—then and now.
“Be sober and vigilant.” These warning words acquaint us with the truth that Christian life provides no guarantee of a life lived without struggle. They are a warning that the good news of Jesus’ resurrection, the heart of the “gospel,” strikes some hearts as “bad news” and those hearts react to the news not with joy but with the persecution of believers. Yet, the message of this First Letter of Peter drives home the point: such persecution is to be expected. If Jesus himself was rejected, so those who believe in him will suffer rejection.
“Be sober and vigilant.” How shall we live this sobriety and vigilance? Alone and in fear? With hand-wringing? Waiting for the “shoe to drop,” waiting for the inevitable? The answer of the First Letter of Peter is: live in solidarity. “Your brothers and sisters throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.”
Today, through the medium of these online reflections, we might imagine that we are in solidarity with hundreds, perhaps thousands of Christians throughout the world. Each one of them has experienced or will experience the truth proposed by First Peter. Each lives with sobriety and vigilance. Perhaps those experiencing today the consolation of faith might consciously pray for those experiencing some form of harassment or persecution. Those suffering with Jesus today might consciously pray to receive the grace of consolation flowing to them through the prayers of brothers and sisters throughout the world.
Let us be sober and vigilant. But let us be in solidarity with one another.
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