At times, I take great comfort in the gospels’ depiction of the apostles’ folly. Perhaps this is because I find it so easy to relate to them in their failing to understand all they are told. I also relate to the frustration I believe Jesus must have felt when the apostles are not "getting the message." In today's gospel, Jesus tells the apostles what is going to happen rather straight forwardly, but the apostles "don't get it."
As I read the day's reading, my immediate reaction was to move the setting into a place where I spend a good deal of time, the college classroom. For me the first reading serves as the textbook readings for today's class, giving me a sense of how to follow God. When I did the reading last night, the text seemed easy to understand. I know from experience these concepts maybe a bit harder to put into practice, but nonetheless, I felt prepared for today's class. I had not thought of any major questions about how to be a Christian. The gospel acts as my professor's lecture, Jesus is the professor, and the apostles are my peers. Jesus tells us a really important piece of information, but instead my peers and I don't understand and devalue it as: "I don't really need to know that, do I?" "I am not going to ask questions." Instead my peers and I walk away from the class debating who will do that best on the final exam. The next day the professor tries a metaphor to "get it through to us," but in this case the story ends with an unresponsive class.
Obviously, I operate from hindsight, knowing what is about to happen during the Lenten season that will begin tomorrow. But the stupidity of the apostles put into a very familiar scene causes me to question today’s “lecture.” How through the upcoming Lenten journey can I put into practice the lessons in today's first reading and response?
"Commit your life to the Lord, and he will help you."