Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Monday, Tuesday - Peter, John

Monday at Mass I offered some thoughts about Peter in the Passion.
At the Last Supper Peter doesn't want Jesus to wash his feet, and perhaps we would not want it either. Then whenhe "gets it" he wants a whole bath... until he rashly promises to follow Jesus anywhere, and learns the hard truth. He does his best in the Garden but falls asleep and lashes out. Then, fatefully, as he warms his hands in the glow of anonymity and Jesus shivers in the cold prison, he denies Him. It is then that we are told their eyes met as the cock crew and Jesus is led away. The tears that follow speak of the impossibility of being forgiven, or so Peter thinks. To be denied the chance to say sorry is a crippling human experience, and Peter believes that is his fate. The Rock crumbles. But it will be reconstituted at a breakfast on the beach in Galilee, but that is for later.

Today I moved on to John the Apostle. He was a co-worker of Peter and Andrew and James in Capernaum. With Peter at Tabor and Jairus' home, he is next to Jesus at the Supper, the "beloved disciple".  Peter asks him to ask Jesus who will be the denier. John leans back against Jesus to ask. Alone among the apostles, including the Rock, he does not crumble, at least not outwardly. He will stay with Jesus to the end. At the end he receives a new Mother  - on our behalf, and looks after her, so tradition tells, perhaps in Ephesus. Perhaps he writes the Apocalypse/revelation not far away on Patmos. His Gospel will be different - more thoughtful, poetic, theological. Where Matthew and Luke have Bethlehem, he has "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us". 
On Easter Sunday these two heroes, Peter and John, run together to the Tomb, but the younger (traditionally) John gives way to Peter to look inside. Some have said they represent the heart and the head of our faith. I love them both. They both love Jesus.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Palm Sunday

A powerful start to Holy Week.
This Palm Sunday I preached on the young man who ran away naked in the garden of Gethsemane. Some believe he was St Mark, who wrote the Gospel used this year. Strange how the Passion draws us in... we have to watch even though we want to turn away or even run away like the young man. 
And he is naked. I recalled another garden, Eden, where God was accustomed to walk with Adam and Eve, until they sinned. Then they became aware of their nakedness and hid from God. He came looking for them, but they had run away. They were afraid of being exposed to God just as they were - just as we are - just as the young man was.
To benefit fully from Holy Week we must be prepared to be fully exposed to the God who hangs (naked) on the Cross for us.  To be truly present to Jesus who is present to us. He loves us, and died for us, just as we are, not how we would like to be, or think we should be, or are told we must be. Just as we are, naked before the Lord. No need to run away.