Readings for 3/29/15
I have some thoughts about a few verses from the passion and death of Jesus according to the gospel of Mark:
He took with him Peter, James, and John,
and began to be troubled and distressed.
A dear friend of mine was watching an old television program with Archbishop Fulton Sheen. She told me that he pointed out that Jesus not only suffered physically, but He allowed Himself to suffer mental anguish and anxiety in the Garden of Gesthemane. We know that when we suffer physical pain and illness, we have a Savior who can relate because He suffered the pain of crucifixion. We don’t often remember His mental suffering, however. For those of us who struggle with anxiety, and fear, we can rest assure that Jesus can empathize with that as well. Remember also that they crowned Him with thorns and dressed Him in royal purple to humiliate and make fun of Him. When we feel humiliated, hated or that we have lost all our dignity, look to Jesus, and find comfort in Him.
When he returned he found them asleep.
He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep?
Could you not keep watch for one hour?
Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”
Oh my goodness, is my flesh weak?! I had this wonderful idea of bicycling with my family for several miles today. The only problem was that I had awakened this morning with a bad headache and had to take medication. Stubborn, I still insisted that I was up for the adventure. Well, I wound up walking my bicycle a lot, and sitting on many a bench along the bicycle path! Often times, I want to stay up and do spiritual reading, or spend quality prayer time with the Lord, and I fall asleep on Him. Sometimes, when I go to adoration, I become so relaxed in Christ’s presence that I begin to nod off. How embarrassing when I am awakened by the weight of my head falling forward! I guess I’m human, just like the apostles!
The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.
When the centurion who stood facing him
saw how he breathed his last he said,
“Truly this man was the Son of God!”
This is my favorite part of the whole reading of the passion! “The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two…” This is such an important line. In the Old Testament, the temple was described to have had a curtain or veil between the sanctuary and where the “Holy of Holies” was kept. The people were not allowed behind the curtain – and if memory serves me right, even the priest was only allowed back there at certain times. Fast forward to the New Testament – When Jesus died for our sins, the veil was torn – the veil that separated us from God! Jesus removed that which once separated us from the God who made us. How incredibly beautiful and profound that is!