LENT 2015: Spiritual obedience means listening deeply to God

Bishop Thomas Gumbletonby Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

In the Gospel lesson, Jesus reminds us, as he had proclaimed many times before to his disciples, “If you really want to be my disciple, take up your cross and follow me.” And if we listen carefully and deeply to the lessons of today for a few moments, I think we will discover in a very deep way what Jesus means by that, and also we will be aware of the challenge it takes truly to follow Jesus. And first of all, I think it’s important for us to realize that in what Jesus is to undergo.

PC-Metro NY Way of the CrossAnd we enter now the last two weeks of Lent, and we’ll enter Holy Week next week and recall his sufferings and journey to Calvary, and then his terrible death on that cross. As we kind of relive all of this, we need to be very aware that Jesus endured all of this as one like us in every way. You know I think many times we have sort of an understanding, in the back of our mind at least, “Well, it couldn’t have been so bad for him. He knew he was going to rise from the dead.”

But you see, we have to understand that the incarnation, Jesus in his humanness, is totally separate from his identity, and so he’s one like us. He had to trust in God just as we do, and he found that very difficult, just as we do. If you listen carefully to that passage from the letter to the Hebrews, you find Jesus described in a way that I think is almost shocking: “Jesus, in the days of his mortal life, offered himself in sacrifice with tears and cries. He prayed to God, who could save him from death.”…

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