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Luke 9:43-45

The Word of God

And all were astounded at the greatness of God. While everyone was amazed at all that he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, "Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands." But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

Luke 9:43-45
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The disciples were not prepared for the Passion of Jesus. Are we prepared for the Passion that so many people endure today and every day? We need a new way of seeing. Jesus walks most closely by our side when we are broken by trouble. He gives us the courage to take one more step.
    • Jesus says: ‘My grace is enough for you’. Bad news may come from the doctor. We may fail in something important. We may be betrayed by friends. Yet he has gone before us and shows us the way to endure. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my good fortune and my misfortunes.
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    • Here Jesus makes the second prophecy of his coming passion. He makes it while people are still full of admiration for his cure of a mysteriously possessed boy. He wants his disciples to penetrate more deeply into the mystery of our salvation. They could not see how his suffering would be the price of our salvation and were afraid to ask him about it. Let us try to overcome any reluctance we may have, and ask for enlightenment on the meaning of the cross in which lies our salvation.
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    • The second prophecy of the passion is put so sharply and clearly that one would presume that his disciples could not possibly fail to understand it. Matthew clearly thought so and excused the disciples by saying that the meaning was hidden from them and they were afraid to ask Jesus for an explanation.
    • How was the meaning hidden from them? Does it make sense to you? How would you explain the incident to a well-meaning inquirer? Reflect on the fact that everything is under God’s providence and so has a purpose. What could be the purpose of hiding the meaning from the disciples? Speak to the Lord about this. When you come across something whose meaning is obscure to you, how do you cope?
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    • We cannot but admire the skill of Luke in painting the starkest of contrasts between the amazement of 'everyone' at all that He was doing, and their lack of understanding of his future suffering. Jesus is the Saviour who shows us the greatness of God through his suffering for us.
    • Like the disciples, we are frightened by suffering and its apparent meaninglessness. I bring some suffering I know to my prayer, and try to ask Jesus what it means.
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    • Are you ever astounded at the greatness of God? Can you imagine how these words ‘The Son of Man is going to be betrayed’ affected His followers? Today, what impact have they on you? Ask the Lord to help you to understand that it was necessary that Christ should suffer.
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    • The disciples need some inspiration points here! They cannot take in the fact that Jesus will be betrayed. Why would anyone betray him when he is doing so much good, and is at the height of his powers and so popular? But when I feel myself betrayed, then I am glad that his life took this form. So many people experience betrayal, and the lives of others are cut short, as his was, by the malice of evil people. I am strengthened by the fact that the Son of God knows the anguish from personal experience, and that he has grappled with it and brought great good out of it by his love.
    • Lord, when things go badly wrong and I am discouraged, remind me of your Passion. Then I will be able to continue on, in the belief that you have radically defeated the evil of the world from the inside.
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    • See how Jesus emphasises his words; he knows that the disciples will find them difficult to accept. It is still the case. Sometimes it is easier for me to accept that I might betray Jesus than it is for me to receive his assurance of continuing love and presence. I ask, now, that I might listen to Jesus’ words and not be preoccupied by my own hesitation.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The disciples were not prepared for the Passion of Jesus. Are we prepared for the Passion that so many people endure today and every day? We need a new way of seeing. When we are broken by trouble, Jesus is walking most closely by our side. He gives us the courage to take one more step.
    • Jesus says: ‘My grace is enough for you’. Bad news may come from the doctor. We may fail in something important. We may be betrayed by friends. Yet he has gone before us and shows us the way to endure. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my good fortune and my misfortunes.
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    • This starts as a moment of triumph. /Everyone was amazed at all that Jesus was doing/. Jesus sobers down the disciples with a solemn warning that he would be betrayed. /Let these words sink into your ears/. He constantly calls us out of our comfort zone, asks us to open our eyes compassionately to human misery.
    • Some of Jesus' words can make us a bit afraid, uneasy and challenged. Anything to do with his death had this effect on those close to him and to his disciples. We may find ourselves always going to favourite scripture. These are generally words which are significant to us in our lives. These are the sources and the groundstuff of our prayer. There is a time also for going to the words of Jesus and the events of his life which we don't like, and let ourselves be engaged in them with the Lord who is always loving and compassionate.
    • When we look at Jesus in prayer, we are looking at the one who will soon be betrayed into the hands of his brothers and sisters, for all are brothers and sisters to him. He would be betrayed by those who shared his background of faith. It would be so awful that the listeners would not even ask him about it. When we look at Jesus in prayer we look on the one who would go to death for us, betrayed by one like us.