The Road to Jerusalem

In the Gospel from the Mass on the second Wednesday in Lent (Matt 20:17-28),  Jesus offers a direct disclosure of His coming Passion.  An excerpt:

[17] And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, [18] “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death,  [19] and deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”

Jesus’ disclosure draws out a number of reflections:

  • This is the third time that Jesus has disclosed His coming Passion (Matt 16:21; 17:22-23).  Perhaps the disciples are not listening, or do not believe.  Perhaps Christ is offering a Trinitarian repetition of the coming Passion so that the worldly disciples do not forget what He has told them.
  • This time, Jesus adds more specificity:  the Jews will be collaborating with the Romans, he will be mocked and flogged and He will die by crucifixion.
  • This is an incredibly precise description of something that will ultimately happen in a short time; if someone  offered this level of precision in predicting their death today, it would be an internet sensation.
  • Embedded in the verse is something truly astounding:  Jesus makes it clear that He will be raised from the dead in three days.  Who can do such a thing?  No one.

Christ offers the Holy Spirit to breath faith into our hearts.

At the same time, we can prepare ourselves to accept faith and allow it to flourish when we ponder the miraculous aspects of Jesus, including His before-the-fact precise description of His Passion and the Resurrection.