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wisdom wedAs we move into the middle of Lent, the Gospel stories in the daily readings begin to have an air of menace or doom about them. Jesus is portrayed as setting out for Jerusalem with his disciples and we all know the outcome of those travel plans.

Starting in Chapter 16 of Mathew’s Gospel, Jesus tries three times to prepare his disciples for his imminent suffering and death.

“From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” (Matthew 16:21 ESV).

A second time, in Matthew 17, Jesus repeated:

“The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” Matthew 17:22-23 (ESV)

And finally in today’s Gospel story we hear:

“See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” Matthew 20:17-19 (ESV)

Jesus tries to tell the disciples the direction that his life and ministry are now taking. Each time, he adds more concrete details about what he expects to suffer. Each time, he also mentions his Resurrection. However, we are left with the impression that the disciples do not want to hear Jesus premonitions of suffering and death and that they are totally deaf to idea that he could return from the dead to be among them again.

This is Jesus' journey and the journey of the disciples with him.

What about our life journey with him?

We need this time of Lent each year to remind ourselves that, yes, Jesus' journey involved suffering and death and ours will too. But we too, in oneness with him, will rise to the joy of an eternal life of love and union.

Sister Rosemary Fry


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