Lent Reading: Luke 22:14-23:56
How holy will this coming week be? As you do all you must do, how will you prepare for Easter? A catholic friend told me Easter in his tradition is bigger than Christmas. For the Christian this makes sense. This is no ordinary time of year because this is no ordinary story. What begins at Christmas finds its purpose at the Cross.
The climax of the Gospel stories is the cross. The narrative slows down, drawing our attention to key moments, key words. The oft celebrated Passover is invested with new meaning. Daily foot washing becomes a vital lesson. The sleeping disciples are a warning. The machinations of religious rulers, “when darkness reigns”. The tension is palpable.
The story powerfully prepares us for its dreadful climax. We are drawn in. Who are we most like? Sleepy disciples? The betrayer Judas? Passionate but frightened Peter? What are we focussed on? Grasping our glory? Protecting our ideology? Sorrow? Fear?
We can readily admit, none of us are like Jesus. Clear on his destiny. Vulnerable and humble. Prayerful so he is prepared. And we know we should be. Jesus encourages his disciples to prepare with him. As he raises cup and bread, he brings meaning to what will occur. He urges his disciples to pray with him, so they “will not fall into temptation”.
The story prepares us for the cross. Jesus prepares us for the cross. How will you prepare for the cross? Can you slow your week down? Can you slowly read the Gospel’s focus through Holy week? Can you prayerfully prepare? Can you do what four Gospels do, ensure the cross is the climax of your own story.