Even in the depths of His passion, Jesus did what it took to build up the community of believers. Think of it – while He is suffering in ways we can barely imagine, He worries about those He loves and the importance of them sticking together in inspired ways. Mind-boggling generosity.
All of the scripture passages for this week’s retreat have come from Luke’s version of the Passion, the one we heard on Sunday. Of the two passages below, the first comes from Luke but the second comes from John. The first depicts Jesus’ words to Peter. The second His words to His mother and John. Both passages describe Jesus building community.
Once more, as you slowly and prayerfully contemplate Jesus doing what He can to reinforce the community of believers, try to imagine the generosity of spirit behind the effort. While dying an agonizing death, he voices concern about His survivors.
Turn on your inspired scriptural imaginations as much as you can. See the details. Pay attention to Jesus’ face. Listen to the details. What is the timber of Jesus’ voice in both settings. What details strike you most strongly? What detail makes you want to say something to Him or to someone else? What do you want to say to Him? What do you want to do?
(PS – Tonight is the Easter full moon. Remember that Easter is always within a few days of the full moon. Jesus’ passion most likely occurred under a nearly full moon. If you get a chance, get to a quiet place under the full moon and imagine the garden, etc.)
I) Jesus asks Peter (at the Last Supper) to build up the community of believers
“Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail;and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.”
II) Jesus (while hanging on the cross) asks John Peter to build up the community of believers
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”Then he said to the disciple,“Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.