As the days of His passion draw near, what was Jesus thinking? What was He feeling? With his knowledge of His looming sacrifice, I wonder how frightened he had to have been. I try to imagine the internal battle He must have been fighting: to remain steadfast in completing the Father’s will or run away, overwhelmed by the price it would require. It’s simple: He must have been scared *&%$less!!!
I peer through the Gospel story lines. During this time of intense emotional turmoil, Jesus does what every one of us would do: He runs to the comfort of His closest friends. He “reclines at table” with Lazarus, Martha and Mary. I imagine Him completely relaxed in their presence, “letting his guard down.” He doesn’t have crowds to impress or Jewish Rabbis to scold---He can simply “be.” The trio must have sensed his nervousness just as any good friend of ours can sense our unrest. From their concern, Jesus shares with these closest of friends, His deepest fears and worries about the plan that is just around the corner. Knowing that they cannot take this burden from Him, Lazarus, Martha and Mary allow themselves to feel with Him, extending love with raw and vulnerable intensity. Mary comforts Him with the most intimate of actions---caressing His feet with costly perfumed oil. I imagine tears streaming down her face as she kisses His feet, gently soothing them with the softness of her long hair. I imagine Jesus trembling as Lazarus holds Him in a deep embrace of support while Martha rests her head in His lap as she kneels at His side, His hands entwined with hers. This is where He is most intimately and humanly known….this is where He can find the courage to keep walking in the way of His vocation, as hard He knows it will be.
As I let this Gospel story become real, penetrating my own encounters of friendship and being “known,” I recognize the subtlety of Christ’s model for discernment. At my core, I desire to do God’s will, but when I realize what it is, often I’m scared *&%$less. I’m afraid of the sacrifice it’s going to take of me, the time it’s going to take, the humility it would require…the list goes on.
Today, I take a cue from our Lord and consider that it’s ok to be scared. What matters is that I recognize the humanness of my call towards discipleship and openly share my fears with those who can extend the support I need. I trust that in these most intimate human relationships, God is at work, gifting me with the courage I need to continue with His plan.
This Holy Week, like Jesus, I too pray for Courage.
Reflected by Regina Galassi