Can we? Yes we can!

JMJ

The Readings for Wednesday in the 2nd Week of Lent (B2)

Ecce ascendimus Jerosolymam, et Filius hominis tradetur principibus sacerdotum, et scribis, et condemnabunt eum morte, et tradent eum gentibus ad illudendum, et flagellandum, et crucifigendum…
Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed to the chief priests and the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked, and scourged, and crucified…

Jesus says, “all these bad things will happen to me” and then Mrs Zebedee says, “Take my boys with you.” But she doesn’t do it like Hannah does in the Old Testament – offereing her son unreservedly to God; nor does she do it like Solomonia does it in Maccabees – urging her sons to martyrdom. Rather, Mrs Zebedee says, “After all these bad things happen, let my boys come and sit with you in your kingdom.” Something ain’t right.

But Jesus takes pains to set it right, offering a way out: Can you, he asks, drink the same cup as I? Yes, we can! OK, then you shall… but I can’t give those seats away to anyone. That is my Father’s job. This is, pardon my pun, crucial. Jesus does offer us rewards, yes: but he asks of us everything and offers no shortcuts.

One huge purpose of Lent is to learn to give up things. That we want them at all is a reason to give them up.  Such wanting, such or constant craving, is an offense against our human freedom. We are  divinely appointed as free to make choices: our first choice being to submit even our freedom to God’s will. Cravings, desires, lusts, all impinge on our freedom. They impinge upon what is properly our only desire: union with God. Anything that comes prior to that desire is out of its proper order. It is disordered.

So we give up things which are otherwise good to learn to say no to our body’s desires. Simply wanting something is no reason to just get up and get it. We give up sinful things all the time, right?  But we train up our wills, slowly, by saying no to silly things (like meat, or fish, dairy, eggs, oil, etc)  so that eventually we can give up big things like disordered choices and sins that run amok aka the passions

Jesus wants us to drink the cup of his passion. Full stop. Even though he can’t promise the seats on his right and his left, he can promise us crosses just like his and penance tailored to fit. 





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Author: Huw Richardson

I'm no Benedictine, but I'm too old for the Franciscans. I'm in the process of moving servers... so trying to keep both of my "linked sites" in sync until there's only one. There can be only one. Huw Richardson was born in Atlanta under a different name about 55 years ago. I never knew my father nor any of his kin. I’ve lived all over: I was never in the same house for 3 Christmases until I was over 40. I’ve not yet made it to 4. Rootlessness seems to be a way of life and every time I think I’m about to root, it ends up not happening. Yet I’ve made some amazing friends online. I’ve met some awesome people all over the world. I’ve met religious leaders and heads of state and famous movie stars. I’ve also managed to be debt-free. I’ve stood on the Hill of Tara and touched the Lia Fail. It did not cry out. I’ve kissed the Blarney Stone as well, if you can’t guess. I have illicitly touched ancient, holy statues to see if anything would happen and I have never used flash photography when I should not have. I’ve been a bookseller, a call center drone, a trainer, a convert, a preacher, a monk, a planter, a secretary, a writer, and an activist. My patron is Blessed Stanley Rother. When I’m in trouble, he’s got my back. He prays for me, along with St Rose of Lima, St. Catherine of Siena, St John Henry Newman, Bl Fulton J Sheen, and Bl. William Richardson. I’m a Dominican Tertiary and a member of Courage International. This is home: I’ve found my roots by using my wings. What’s next? I don’t know. Part of me wants to just pick out a camper and gig my way around the world. Part of me wants to own a pub in Ireland and feed my soul with good music until forever. Part of me has always taught. Some part of me dances whenever the moon is full. Another part of me kneels in awe in the darkness as all the stars spin but the cross stands still.