Embracing Suffering – Luke 9: 43-45 – Saturday, 25th week in ordinary time

It’s tough to keep your cool when you have to get you message across twice. Today’s passage has Jesus communicating the truth of his passion and death to his disciples who seem to find this hard to swallow. Jesus has already predicted his passion in Luke 9:21 -22 and that itself came as a shock to the twelve. It seemed like this message needed to sink in before Jesus leaves Galilee and makes his way to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51)

Jesus has just descended from the mount of Transfiguration only to drive out a demon from a young boy. The opening lines of our Gospel text tells us that “all were amazed at all he was doing.” Perhaps it is this constant ‘high’ that keeps the apostles from accepting the ultimate reality; Jesus came to die for all.

Some scholars exonerate the disciple’s inability to understand and accept such suffering. They call this text of Luke the “suffering secret”. In the Gospel of Luke, it is only after the resurrection and the gift of insight that Jesus gives them (24:13-35 – road to Emmaus) that the disciples truly understand the meaning of the cross. It is the two men in white who remind the women at the tomb 24:5 of the words of Jesus; “ Remember how he told you, while still in Galilee that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners  and be crucified and on the third day rise again.”

The inability of the disciples to accept the hard truth is a reflection of who we are too. The prosperity Gospel is appealing, not so the suffering of Christ on the cross. Yet looking at the signs of the time the cross beckons us to get out of our comfort zone and open our eyes to the reality of suffering.  It is for this reason that a Church must have the crucifix displayed prominently and not the resurrected Christ as some opt to.

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