Saturday, April 06, 2013

Just One of the Crowd

And as He sat at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were sitting with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many who followed Him.
Mark 2:25--from the Gospel reading for the third Saturday in Lent.

This is the mid-weekend in Great Lent.  By now the routine of Lent is in full swing, and it's taking its toll.  It is not uncommon at this point in Lent to feel tired, to feel as though it is not worth it, to wonder if your are really accomplishing anything.  It is also common at this point to be acutely aware of our sin, of our out-of-control thoughts, of our inability to keep our heart and mind focused.  This is what it feels like to be crucified with Christ...

...Nevertheless we live.  To encourage the faithful, the Church exalts the Cross on Sunday.  Yes, this feeling of powerlessness is indeed our participation in the Cross of Christ--the Cross that is the doorway  to the Resurrection.  And on Saturday, before we look to the Cross, we are reminded that Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners..."for there were many who followed Him."  If today we feel the weight of our sin, if today we see more than ever our sin, then we are in good company.  We are some of the many tax collectors and sinners who followed Christ.

The cross is never what we expect it to be.  It always feels worse than we thought it would.  And yet, on the cross, we can let go.  We can let go of the facades.  We can let go of any illusion of control.  On the cross we can let go of any hope that our own righteousness, our own skill, or our own ability to figure things out will save us.  On the cross we wait patiently on the Lord until he answers us.

On my own cross this lent, I am encourage to find myself in the company of the many tax collectors and sinners who followed Jesus.  Let's sinners follow Jesus together.  Encouraging one another we will make it together to the glorious Resurrection.

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