Today's Gospel: Luke 9:43B-45
The older I get, the more I sympathize with the disciples. Jesus was fascinating, but sometimes a bit scary. Not long before Jesus said this, Peter, James, and John accompanied Him up a mountain and witnessed His Transfiguration. Then, in the sight of all of His disciples, Jesus cast a demon out of a young boy. These are the kinds of things that make it easy to follow Jesus. Signs and wonders are always exciting!
Then comes this dark prediction from the Lord: "The Son of Man is to be handed over to Men." But no one asked what Jesus meant. It's not like no one had ever asked for clarification before. After the parable of the sowing of the seeds, the Apostles pulled Jesus aside and asked what He meant. (But notice that even there, they didn't wish to look bad by asking "dumb questions" in front of everyone.)
Here we have our Lord predicting His Passion. The disciples didn't understand what He meant, but knew that it didn't mean ice cream parties and pony rides. This wasn't about making more wine for the wedding or Lazarus coming back from the dead. This was sinister in some way that they couldn't put their finger on. Yet no one asked what Jesus meant.
Ah! Ignorance is bliss!
As Christians, though, we shouldn't shirk from learning about the difficult things in life. We have an understanding that our suffering brings redemption and sanctification. We know that we can't close our eyes and pretend it's not there. We need to imitate Jesus and meet those dark times head-on.
When my life gets rough, do I close my eyes to what God is trying to teach? How can I offer up my own difficulties to God, so as to allow Him to make something good of it? When I do offer things up, do I do so cheerfully, or do I make a big deal of my crosses?
Lord, I don't like to face the difficult times in my life, but I know I am never alone in those times. Teach me to find You in my hardships and to offer them up to You as my own kind of sacrifice. Show me how to do this willingly, and with a smile on my face!
Copyright 2014 Maria Morera Johnson
About the Author
Maria Morera Johnson, author of My Badass Book of Saints, Super Girls and Halo, and Our Lady of Charity: How a Cuban Devotion to Mary Helped Me Grow in Faith and Love writes about all the things that she loves. A cradle Catholic, she struggles with living in the world but not being of it, and blogs about those successes and failures, too.