The gospel texts are sometimes comforting and encouraging.
At other times, they are demanding and… more than a little challenging
The text for this Sunday (Mark 7:28-35) belongs to this challenging category!
We are told that:
“He (Jesus) began to teach them (the apostles) that the Son of Man must suffer many things… be rejected…
that he must be killed…”
The perspective of such a future for their Master is surely disheartening for the apostles.
No wonder that Peter, the leader among them, protests and even tries to have Jesus change direction!
I expect that some of us would have been inclined to do the same…
It is natural to try and avoid whatever is painful, whatever causes hurt and provokes fear and discouragement.
The problem is that our attempts are so often shortsighted.
To follow this course of action may end up by depriving us of something absolutely… wonderful.
The sentence printed above is still incomplete – following the words: “he must be killed…”
the text continues with: “and after three days rise again.”
So often, what happens in our lives is that:
we see only the negative,
we focus only on the possible hurt,
we envisage only what goes against our desires…
We fail to broaden our perspective to see what will follow the… ‘must’ –
to perceive all the great things that God has prepared for us.
Of course, to take up one’s cross –
a very personal, intimate, demanding denial of oneself –
this would be more than we can cope with…
if we were left to ourselves.
But we are NOT.
Christ is with us, he who has walked this way before us.
And what he has lived through is awaiting us also: “rise again.”
Rise to a life of unending happiness!
Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/24e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/