Blue spring flowers on the Cathedral grounds

Mark 14:18-31

And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, “Surely, not I?” He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.” While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter said to him, “Even though all become deserters, I will not.” Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” But he said vehemently, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And all of them said the same.

But [Peter] said vehemently, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And all of them said the same.

Reading these words always breaks my heart, in part because we know how the story goes. My own sadness and discomfort come from wondering how I would have responded in the moment when put to the test. Would I have denied Jesus’ life and ministry to save my own? We never really know until we are truly faced with times of trial.

As I write this, the atrocities found in Bucha, Ukraine are coming to light. The brutality against humanity so evident, sadly reminds us of the evil and violence we can and do still inflict on one another. We cannot claim that the horrors of war are a thing of the past as they are very much a part of our current reality. And yet, even in the midst of that reality, we see the brave men and women of Ukraine readily risking their lives to save others. Their courage in the face of such unimaginable horror against humanity shines as true light in the darkness.

Tomorrow on Palm Sunday, we journey with Jesus into Jerusalem. The certain destiny is Calvary and the cross. We will once again participate in the Passion of our Lord and the brutality in his day that leads to his crucifixion.

These times underscore the need for the resurrected Christ in our lives even more urgently. Let us be on our way for we have much work to do to bring about the Kingdom of God in our troubled times.

In faith and prayer,

A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

(Book of Common Prayer, page 833)