Thursday, April 1, 2021

Maundy Thursday B3

In our daily study we have just read through the story of Jesus before Pilate (John 18,19).  Our Bible notes entitled it 'Outmanoeuvred', as the religious leaders manipulate the crowd and succeed in extracting Jesus' death sentence from Pilate'   So much is happening through Holy Week but the theme of meekness continues to hold my attention.  I see it in the words and silences of Jesus before Pilate.  This is strength of personality restrained for God's sake.  This evening we remember the loving way Jesus spends the Last Supper with his disciples. We need to keep marvelling at his meekness in all that he is going to endure for us.  Jesus' unique act to change the world remains our focus.  He did this for me.

My sermon on the beatitude Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth emphasized the power of this Holy Week when a single figure, rejected reviled, and nailed to a cross does what only he can. That through his dying and rising he opens up a new way for us to live with God, walking as forgiven, purposeful children in his eternal Kingdom.  Is this easy?  Oh no, losing patience and self-control spoils so much in our lives!  Yet Jesus by his Spirit takes our best and our worst, our tempers, egos, drives, impatience and work them into fruit that we call fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control. Actually those last six qualities can be summed up by the one word MEEKNESS.  A combination of qualities that can be manufactured only by the Spirit of the meek Jesus living within us.  

Holy Week should impact how I am going to behave.  Have I any idea how much practicing meekness by the power of Jesus can change things around me - my home, relationships, work place, neighbours, and especially as church where Jesus calls us to embody this Spirit together?  Jesus' walk to the cross is a unique story that changes the world.  We worship with wonder and praise. And it makes it possible for us to take this beatitude to heart - it's the way that God works to bring deeper happiness. 

 The Marie Curie Foundation called us this past week to a Reflection Day. It reminded me of Eve's story about her parents, Marie and Pierre.  Having discovered radium which exceeded their expectations in intensity and application Pierre explained they had a huge choice to make.  Others were jostling to use their discovery. Would they describe the results of their research without delay giving all the details, or consider themselves inventors and patent the process.  Marie was adamant. They couldn't withhold information which would make so much difference to treating disease. She had no doubt, nor did Pierre.  Fifteen minutes later they were on their beloved bicycles. Eve wrote that they had chosen forever between poverty and fortune. In the evening they came back exhausted, their arms filled with leaves and field flowers.

But this Beatitude is about little stories of our everyday behaviour......

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