Here’s the mid-week reflection for the last week of February.
First, the gospel for this week:
8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
8:32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
8:33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
8:34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
8:35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.
8:36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?
8:37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?
8:38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
People use up their lives in heartbreaking political struggles, or get themselves killed in civil wars, or tortured in the secret prisons of the Gestapo, not in order to establish some central-heated, air-conditioned, strip-lighted Paradise, but because they want a world in which human beings love one another instead of swindling and murdering one another.
Nowadays, unfortunately, many things are done with the idea that the more spiritual and otherworldly we are, the better. But it is just the other way around. The more we learn to seek truth and to act on it as far as possible in the situation in which God has placed us, even if that be in the dirt, the better it is. For the Savior does not want to come as an idea but as a reality, wherever people live and struggle.
Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
Source: Action in Waiting
Only through poverty of spirit do humans draw near to God; only through it does God draw near to humans. Poverty of spirit is the meeting point of heaven and earth, the mysterious place where God and humans encounter each other, the point where infinite mystery meets concrete existence.
He penetrates the entire cosmos,
pervades the whole world,
and makes his presence felt in every human being.
The resurrection is a process that began with Jesus
and that will go on until it embraces all creation.
Wherever an authentically human life is growing in the world,
wherever justice is triumphing over the instincts of domination,
wherever grace is winning out over the power of sin,
wherever human beings are creating more
fraternal mediations in the social life together,
wherever love is getting the better of selfish interests,
and wherever hope is resisting the lure of cynicism or despair,
there the process of resurrection
is being turned into a reality.