As we move through Lent and approach Holy Week, we might think about the Lord’s Passion as a goodbye story, almost as if it were a closure. It begins with a Passover meal, where there is a discussion of what might happen in the future for the disciples.
However, listening to Jesus must have been very uncomfortable for some of those gathered. One of the disciples learned that he would betray Jesus; Peter heard that he would deny him. These predictions might remind us of what it is to be human – that we make mistakes and that we are limited.
This meal is followed by Jesus’ rejection at the hands of the authorities – and his humiliation as he is whipped and mocked. He then dies on the cross.
Jesus is at the mercy of the worst kind of humiliation. How does he respond? With anger or indignation? No. He is humble until the end; he shows great respect for authority but also remains true to himself. We see this when he goes off to pray on his own: he ‘withdraws’. He needs to be rooted in that relationship with his Father.
What kind of a saviour is Jesus? How does it feel to have a saviour who was mocked and abused and humbled himself to death on a cross? How counter-cultural is Jesus, and how is he still counter-cultural for Christian stewards today?
As we continue through our Lenten journey, let us think about how we live as Jesus’ followers, as stewards of his Gospel message. How often do I empty myself, even a small amount for others?
Jesus sets us an example of how to live. Even at his death he was living his ministry by reaching out to the women at the foot of the cross. We are all called to live that ministry too – we are accountable for how we live our lives. Our faith has been passed to us and faith is a huge gift. How we live in response to that gift is left to each of us, but we are called to reflect God’s love.
Mother Teresa once commented that each of the people we meet is Jesus in disguise. Try to see Jesus in just one person each day this month. At the end of each day, try and reflect on how that was. Was the person in whom you saw Jesus someone you find easy to love?