Introduction: the text for our reflection at this time of the year is taken from Luke 18:31-32, which I titled “the journey to Jerusalem”. This is in preparation to the passion and the Resurrection of Jesus in our Lenten journey.
1. Read: read the text of Luke 18:31-32 slowly and listen attentively with the ‘ear of your heart’. What word, sentence or phrase stands out for you?
2. Reflect: read the text again and pay attention of what touches you; why is it meaningful for you. What thought or reflection comes to you.
3. Respond: read the text again but this time respond spontaneously to the word of God. In other words, make a dialogue with God what comes from within you. What gift does this text lead you to ask for from the Lord?
4. Stay with the Word: read the text a final time and rest in the word. Allow God to speak to you in deep silence. Do not say anything just listen to God’s words. What is He saying?
5. Take now the word, sentence, or phase, into your daily life/activity; allow it to become part of you. Always listen to it, reflect on it, pray over it and rest on it as time allows during the day. Then allow the Word leads you to action.
Conclude your ‘Lectio Divina’ with the ‘Our Father’…
Reflection: as we are approaching our Lenten season, journeying towards the passion and Resurrection of Jesus, the text of Luke 18:31-34 which is the third prophecy of the Passion of Jesus, is intended to help us make our spiritual journey with Jesus and his disciples who made their way to Jerusalem where, as announced by Jesus, will face his eminent death but after three days will rise again. The purpose of announcing his passion three times to his disciples was to prepare them to this horrible and an unjust death. Did they understand him?
Central Message: “Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man is to come true. What he said was quite obscure to them, they had no idea what it meant.”
- “Now we are going up to Jerusalem.” The whole experience that the apostles had of the transfiguration event in the mountain (Lk 9:28-36), was a taste of the Glory of God in the person of Jesus. This can be interpreted as a moment of consolation that Jesus intended for his disciples, in order to prepare them to face his shameful passion and death and to never succumb to any sort of desolation caused by Jesus’ suffering and death. Making their way down from the mountain Jesus made the second prophecy of his passion (see Lk 9:44-45) and later on he announced the third which is the one we are reflecting on. So, as they continue their way to Jerusalem Jesus taught and instructed his disciples about how difficult the journey will be, sometimes uncomfortable and demanding, with rejections and assaults. They could have taken a different road, with less difficulties and challenges, where they could have been well accepted and understood by all. For Jesus this could have been the wide and broader road which we may think is as safe, comfortable and easy way, seeking all kinds of pleasures. Most people would take this road (see Mt 7:13). But Jesus would take always the narrow and twisted road which leads to life, and only few find it (Mt 7:14). Jesus’s way is characterised by the cross, “take up your cross and follow me.” Which road are you walking?
- “Everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man is to come true”. Luke often remarks that the passion of Jesus was foretold by the prophets, like in chapter 24:25, on the road to Emmaus, Jesus said to two of his disciples “you foolish men! So slow to believe the full message of the prophets! Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and enter into his glory?” (v. 26). And again, he told to the whole group of the apostles “this is what I meant when … while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms, has to be fulfilled” (v. 44). When Jesus announced his passion and death, it was quite incomprehensible for his disciples, for they saw all the goodness he did, heard the truth he spoke, how their lives changed by his very presence, they believed he was the Messiah, how come he is to be crucified? Nevertheless, Jesus’ words were something to remember at later stage when he had been crucified and been raised from the dead. That was the case when he appeared to them after his Resurrection and “opened their minds to understand the scriptures” (Lk 24:45-46). And the next thing “the penny dropped!”. It was only after his Resurrection when the disciples understood everything Jesus told them all about him and what was going to happen to him. Does this sound familiar to you? When someone who is very close to you experiences a terrible terminal illness with only few days to live and shares that with you, how would you react? What would you say to that person? Or if it is yourself, how would give this peace of news to your loved ones? What would you say to them?
Some questions for our reflexion:
1. How would you approach Jesus’ suffering his passion and death?
2. Are you ready to take Jesus’ way?