Reflection for March 27 – Mary Kercher

Todays’ Passage from The Bible: Mark 14:32-52

They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ He took with him Peter and James and John and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.’ And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, ‘Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.’ He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. He came a third time and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.’

Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.’ So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him. Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.’ All of them deserted him and fled.

A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.

Reflection – Mary Kercher

This passage shows how messed up we can be as disciples of Christ. The first instance occurs when Jesus asks the disciples to stay awake with him. Three times he asks them this! How awake are you when you’re supposed to be having a holy moment with Jesus? Does your mind wander during the sermon or the prayers? Are you with Him or somewhere else?

When we act from our own thinking of how WE think things should go, without God’s guidance, we can do pretty stupid things like Judas that have serious consequences. When WE get angry and act out of that anger, WE may do things like the disciple who cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave. It may not be physical violence that we do, but it could be hurtful words or actions. 

Who stood with Jesus when he was arrested? No one! They all fled and the one who got caught escaped by running away naked. 

(This is in the next passage, but it makes my case stronger.) When WE say that WE would never deny Jesus like Peter, we don’t know how we might be denying him in ways we aren’t even aware of. Every time we don’t speak up when we should, or fail to act when we should, we are denying the Jesus that we represent as Christians. It reminds me of Ghandi learning about Christianity and being so impressed with Jesus, but he chose to stay a Hindu because he did not see Jesus in most of the “Christians” he met. 

We Christians are human and sometimes it is very, very evident. If disciples who lived and breathed with Jesus could act this way, I guess God can understand how we might follow suit. 

Lord, we are human, and we make mistakes. Jesus recognized that we sometimes know not what we do and He still forgives us. Help us to draw closer to you so that we feel your presence and honor your guidance in all we do and say. Amen. 

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