Daily Office Readings for Friday after the 5th Sunday of Lent: Year 2
“They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid.” (Mark 10:32)
Here we have our Lord Jesus leading the pack to his own torture and death. He is very much aware of his imminent pain and suffering and yet he leads the way. The brothers James and John are going to request places of honor in the kingdom of Jesus. Jesus informs them that those places are determined by God Almighty. The rest of his group becomes angry when they find out what James and John were up to. Jesus gives them the lesson about the upside down world of honor in the kingdom of heaven. He explains that it is those who serve others who are the most honored in the kingdom.
Our Lord Jesus tells them (and us) that the worldly demand of harsh leadership which demands to be pleased no matter the costs is not who we are. We are to lead in loving ways. We are to lead by caring for those whom we lead. We then, are to be emulators of the Good Shepherd, our Lord Jesus himself.
If we all really treated others with respect and dignity two wonderful things might happen. First, more people would get the help and or service they need. Second, by helping others we teach the lesson of loving others as ourselves. Such service is work of love; it is the loving work of the Holy Spirit.
This continues to be a very trying time. It is our normal time of Lent for the Church. And on top of our normal penitential time, we have the onslaught of Covid 19. Covid 19 brings with it real devastating outcomes. It is the sickness itself; it is the loss of income for many due to isolation; and it is the depression of being cooped up in our homes all the time.
Our Lord Jesus was leading the way to a much worse destination. And he is out front ahead of the pack, setting the example. As Christians, and as his followers, we too need to lead the way in the sufferings of enduring the sickness if it befalls us, helping those in need if we can; and dealing with our closed-in living with prayer spiritual studies. In our exhortation into Lent (page 316 of our Book of Common Prayer) it says that this is a time for us to prepare to come back to the Church. The thought of that pleases me so much.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John