Let us take time to reflect on the words “they did not understand,” and “afraid to ask.” Jesus tried to teach his disciples that he, The Christ, the Son of Man, and the Messiah came to bring life to the full for creation. He did this by telling them that, unless people accept his teaching, he would be rejected and killed and rise again. The disciples did not understand that. Why? The Son of Man, the Messiah that they were expecting was supposed to come and liberate them from all that held them captive. He was supposed to restore the supposed glorious reign of the great King David. Not to suffer and die. Mark tells us that “they failed to understand.” They made it worse though, by being afraid to ask him for clarification. As a result, Mark goes on to say, they ended up getting into controversy about the greatest and the least among them and even refused to answer Jesus when he asked them what they were arguing about.
So because they did not understand what Jesus was teaching them and precisely because they were afraid to ask him to clarify his teachings, Jesus experienced the fate he predicted. The message here is that this continues to happen today. When we don’t understand and are afraid to admit that we don’t understand, when we are afraid and so don’t ask him, his warning comes to pass. I am convinced that much of the conflicts and violence and hatred and killings are the result of people not understanding life’s teaching. Also, we continue to see no end in sight to the failures and disasters that afflict us because we are afraid, afraid to ask…
Action? Make the decision that when we don’t understand something we say so and seek clarification. When are afraid to ask, still ask. How? When it comes to Jesus, enter into deeper prayer. Yes. It is in earnest and honest prayer that we will be able to ensure that the disaster that threatens us will not unfold. Commit to prayer, deep prayer.
Let us pray.
DEAR LORD JESUS, TEACH US TO PRAY… Amen.
Fr. Clement Paul.