In today’s gospel, Jesus foretells his death and resurrection and the disciples were “overwhelmed with grief.” I try to put myself in that scene, to imagine how I would respond. First Jesus says he will be handed over to men, Would I recognize my culpability as one of those handing him over or would I be self-righteous and think I would never betray Jesus in that way? Would I have been horrified that anyone who loves Jesus could ever be capable of betraying him? Would I have been mentally reviewing all of his other followers in an attempt to identify who it would be? Would it occur to me that my sins would have anything to do with his being handed over?
When Jesus says men will kill him, would I take him seriously or think he was exaggerating? If I did take him seriously, would I be more concerned about the potential of being harmed myself just because of association with him? Would I have the courage to keep following him? What part would I play in his suffering and death? Could I believe that I would have a part?
Then Jesus says that, “he will be raised on the third day.” What meaning would that have for me? Would I be able to comprehend it at all, not necessarily understand it but believe it?
As I imagine myself in this scene with Jesus, I am disappointed in my answers to the questions I have posed. I think of the many times in my life I would not have stayed around to be one of those overcome with grief. Instead, I would be putting as much distance as possible between myself and that scene. But, because of God’s infinite patience with me, I can also imagine times when I would turn around with confidence in his love, knowing that he understands and truly forgives my weakness. I know that his strength and love are always with me, even when I turn my back on him. Then I can imagine my role in the scene being much different and I can experience the grief of the crowd, but also the intense joy that comes from knowing how loved I am.
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook