One very prominent theme in Mark’s gospel is the theme of failed discipleship. The Apostles failed to accept their destiny to remain alongside Jesus. Like those early apostles, we would like to avoid these implications of discipleship. We would like the conclusion of holy week to be about the interior rather than the exterior, about the future rather than the present, about triumph rather than suffering and about religion safely separated from politics. Confronting violent political power and unjust religious collaboration is dangerous whether in the first or twenty-first century. Following Jesus means to walk with him against imperial violence and religious collaboration and to pass through death to resurrection. Nothing is said about his doing it alone to excuse everyone else from having to follow him. Judas’ betrayal is simply the worst example
of how those close to Jesus failed him dismally in Jerusalem.
Adapted from The Last Week by Borg & Crossan
God is our refuge and strength.
Reflect on the actions of the Apostles as described in the gospel stories of Jesus’ betrayal and abandonment. In lesser ways, where do you fit in?
If any of you want to be my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their lives for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed what can they give in return for their life?
Mark 8:34 -37
Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.
The most tragic thing in the suffering of Christ was not the cross but the sleeping disciples.
He never deserted them, but they in cowardly fear of their lives, fled from him in the very beginning of his sufferings. This is but one instructive instance of the frailty of all believers if left to themselves.
Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.
Pope John XXIII
Let this be thy whole endeavor, this thy prayer, this thy desire, that thou mayest be stripped of all selfishness, and with entire simplicity follow Jesus only.
Thomas à Kempis