Benedictine Spirituality Christ Cross Discernment Gospel Lectio Divina Lent Resurrection Scripture Uncategorized

A costly risk.

Photo by Duncan Sanchez on Unsplash

Today’s gospel is full of challenge. Jesus taking the Apostles to one side, telling them what to expect in Jerusalem. He is completely honest:

“The Son of Man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the pagans to be mocked and scourged and crucified; and on the third day he will rise again.”

In response to the sons of Zebedee jockeying for power Jesus goes on to explain what it means to follow him with another shocking statement:

“Anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

We are so familiar with these words that they have lost both their freshness and their ability to shock. Having heard them repeated again and again over the years we have become accustomed to them.

We also come to them with hindsight. Unlike those first Apostles we read them through the filter of Easter, of knowing that Christ is already risen. That can make it hard for us to understand just how baffling and shocking they must have been to the Apostles. They had left everything to follow Jesus believing he was the promised Messiah. They would not have expected that to lead to death and crucifixion… Or to resurrection. They are fearful and disturbed Jesus’ talk of suffering and death.

Familiarity makes it easier for us to put them aside. We can bind them up comfortingly in liturgy and tradition, treat them as inspiring thoughts that don’t really affect our day-to-day life. Yet, as followers of Christ, we are called, like the Apostles, to let these words challenge and disturb us, and to take the costly risk of allowing them to shape our daily lives.

What costly risk is Christ calling you to take this Lent?