While they were all amazed at his every deed, Jesus said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
The Apostles were on a high! They were shining in Christ’s rays of glory! They had gone from unknown (and unsuccessful) fishermen to Chosen Ones – The Twelve. This period of salvation history is not known as the finest moment or the peak moment; it is better known as the set up. Christ’s popularity was soaring; his ministry was picking up speed; his name and deeds were well known all across Israel. The only thing missing was to own a stadium in Houston and, of course, marry a woman that would be his associate.
Of course they were not ready for what Jesus had to tell them. They were not ready for the reality of sin; of the enormous role they would one day play in the on-going physical and even greater spiritual battle for the salvation of one soul. The Lord knew this. He knew his men were ill-equipped and not yet ready for this battle. They still needed time, grace and guts.
There are some things that are better left unsaid and unexplained. But little by little, the Lord was preparing himself and his apostles for the inevitable. He would be rejected, arrested and put to death by men, powerful men, under the influence of Satan. He knew that they would have to learn how to swim against the current! He did not go into details with them not because he did not know, but because his apostles were not ready for this talk.
Pay attention to what I am telling you, says the Lord. You will die. Your life will come to an end. The slave is not greater than the Master. Does it matter at all if it is tomorrow or in ten, twenty or thirty years? It recently dawned on me that in twenty-five years I will be seventy years old! Just in twenty-five years!
I know that my life on earth will come to an end. I have lived over and over again the day I will die. I don’t want to know how my life will end. I am not ready for this revelation. Most of us are not. Only the Lord knows and he gradually lets us in on his little secret. He sends us hints and hidden meanings. He gives us a few things to nibble on like aches and pains, bifocals and wrinkles, bad knees and hip replacements to remind us and prepare us for the inevitable. He does this so that we don’t get too nervous. He also sends us people along our way. He sends us guardian angels from heaven and earth. He opens our hearts to say the right things at the right moment. Now, if we would only listen to good solid Christian teachings!
How often I wonder why things happen the way they do? How often have I said, “Why? Why? Why?” Just recently a tragedy hit our parish. I don’t even want to talk about it right now, but it has truly been a time of cross and grace. I can only replace the “Why…why…why” with Jesus, I trust in you! Jesus I trust in you! Jesus I trust in you! Only He can break the cycle of despair. Now I know why we pray the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
“The Son of man is to be handed over to men.” Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.” But you must know! We all must know! There will come a time when we must pick up our cross and carry it, faithfully and courageously, to completion.
Do not be afraid to ask him about this saying. It will save our life!
“Our Savior Christ Jesus destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.”