90 Day Challenge – Day 82

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Bible Time Period: Messianic Fulfillment

You sent your only Son, Jesus Christ the Messiah, to fulfill all your promises: Give me new life in him.

Reflection

Jesus continues to teach his disciples in today’s readings, often with parables, as he continues his journey toward Jerusalem.  In chapter 19, we read of his triumphant entry into the city.  He rides on a donkey in the manner of a king riding to his coronation.

The testing of Jesus picks up in chapter 20 as religious leaders question his authority.

Today’s Reading

Luke 17-20

Today’s Question

In Luke 18:31-34, Jesus predicts His passion for the third time.  How do the disciples respond?

Join the discussion below!

Sarah Christmyer

Sarah Christmyer is co-developer with Jeff Cavins of The Great Adventure Catholic Bible study program. She serves as Strategic Consultant of The Great Adventure and is author or co-author of a number of the studies. Sarah has thirty years of experience leading and teaching Bible studies. She helped launch Catholic Scripture Study and is co-author of “Genesis Part I: God and His Creation” and “Genesis Part II: God and His Family,” published by Emmaus Road. Sarah has a BA in English literature from Gordon College in Wenham, MA, and is working toward a Masters of Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. Raised in a strong evangelical family, she was received into the Catholic Church in 1992. Sarah also writes at comeintotheword.com/.

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  • Margie

    I think it’s difficult to foresee the death of a loved one. For myself I was in such deep denial that my parents were nearing their death, I wouldn’t allow myself or them to acknowledge this truth. When both parents spoke of wanting to “go home”, I never interpreted it as their desire to go to their final resting place. My only response to my Mom was to look around, “you are home, this is your living room, your TV.” Yet, when she died in my arm two hours later, I was deeply devastated. Why didn’t I comfort her with understanding? Why didn’t I talk to her about Jesus and how much she was loved? Why didn’t I take the time to pray with her? Why were the disciples in denial, or were they blocking the knowledge that Jesus who they loved so much would soon be leaving them? It was only after the death of Jesus that those words that Jesus spoke would bring understanding.

  • Janet

    Jesus’ disciples heard His words, but didn’t understand; they weren’t yet at a point where they could take in and comprehend the words Jesus was saying. I believe they simply were not yet able to handle the thought of their Master being brutally scourged and killed. It was probably beyond any comprehensible thought.

    I think back on my life to darker times when sinful ways consumed me. Loved ones tried to speak to me about myself and where I was at in life. I heard the words, but couldn’t take them in or comprehend them. It was as though they were speaking a foreign language to me. It’s not as though I didn’t want to hear what my loved ones were saying. I thought I saw the real me better than they did. I wasn’t ready to hear anything they had to say until an impending tragedy slapped me in the face and made me aware of just how deep in sin I truly was (and still am). When I finally fell to me knees and sincerely prayed for God to help me change, He began to change me. The closer I move toward God through prayer and His Word, the more my loved ones’ words come back to me and I understand what they were trying to tell me. By drawing closer to God, He gives me the grace I need to hear what I am ready to hear. I’m not suggesting the apostles were as sinful as I, but sin can keep us from hearing and understanding God’s message for us.

    Lord, thank You for waking me from my stupor! Please help me to continue moving closer to You. Show me those areas in my life when and where I falter. Open my mind and my senses to Your Word and give me the grace to hear and understand what You’re saying to me. Amen.

  • Marian Potts

    I think the apostles did not grasp that Jesus was going to suffer and die because they were caught up in how wonderful and powerful and holy he was. They did not grasp the evil he would face. Seems like the days we live in with so much evil and people act like everything is normal.

  • The disciples still do not understand these things. That difficulty is not surprising. Really, suffering only makes sense when seen in the light of Christ’s death and resurrection, for “by suffering for us Jesus not only gave us an example so that we might follow in his footsteps, but he also opened up a way. If we follow this path, life and death become holy and acquire a new meaning”. OK, I finally caught up with you all again 🙂

  • Susan

    How does a group who is following their Lord and leader for just 3 years understand that it will all come to an unsightly end so soon and with such tragedy? The Twelve (as Judas has not yet betrayed Christ) must be in a mind fog watching and participating in the teachings, healings, visits and miracles as Jesus goes about the countryside, the multitudes of people who follow him and hang on his every word. They have had such a short time to grasp just what is going on and to accept Jesus as the Christ then to think they would grasp the understanding of His foretelling his own suffering and death. The Twelve would have had no relevance from which to anticipate the future (true, the prophets foretold these events but a long, long time ago) as all is going so well with the exception that the Pharisees and Sadducees are trying to trick him and challenge him continually. Even as Christ is taken away, I am not sure the Eleven really understand what was going on or perhaps as they began to understand, they scattered from fright – we all know that Peter denied his association with Christ three times. What was that about?

    This part of Luke is always distressing to read as is any of the gospels recounting the betrayal, suffering, and crucifixion of the Lord; if I put myself in the place of the Eleven (even if this happened today), I can hardly grasp the magnitude of what is going on and in such a short period of time. I am aghast that the multitudes of the people in general turned against Christ – where are the 5000 he fed, the hundreds and thousands that he taught, those who followed him from village to village? Where are the faithful?

    This reminds me of the journey from Egypt to the promised land, the Israelites followed Moses faithfully until he left for a time to journey up the mountain – in the mere blink of an eye, they forgot their mission and reduced themselves once again to idolatry. How could the turn so quickly?

    I understand, yet I don’t understand, why His disciples didn’t understand the message Jesus told them three times; perhaps, it was just as unbelievable to them as it is to me that this could happen to the Messiah.

  • Elaine Boone

    As it looks like I’m up first this year, I read over comments last year to see if I might have a new insight about this passage on Christ’s third prediction of his passion. After some prayer and meditation, this is my thought: not only do we need to follow God in faith when we don’t understand his will. Likewise God shows his patience with us when we are “you of little faith.” Or like the Apostles who were arguing over who would have the higher place in His kingdom. God is so very patient, forgiving, merciful and loving! When we see with human sight, God works his grace in us to see with faith and live our lives on a spiritual plane. He will never desert us. Blessed be the Lord!

  • mg

    HI everyone. I want you to know I have been following along and reading everyones comments but have been out of the loop a bit. I have an ill family member that I ask you to pray for.

    As a side note, one part of these readings I love is “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Powerful and so right.

    • Fisher

      Nice to see you here, MG. About to start Morning Prayer and will add your intention. I am studying Robert Barron’s “Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Corresponding Virtues” (probably slightly incorrect title – not in front of me), and it correlates to Dante’s Divine Comedy. Yes, pride is the worst of the deadly sins, thus humility is the first and most important virtue. Without humility, we cannot hope to overcome the other sins/achieve the other virtues…..I feel for the disciples, as there had to be some measure of pride at work in them – for being Christ’s chosen inner circle, if nothing else. Maybe they thought they would be able to alter the situation when the time came? Maybe they just could not think about this coming horror while still basking in Christ’s present light?
      Maybe we should all take a moment to pray for the ongoing and increasing persecution of Christians today in that very same region. For most of us, I think we feel it is too far away and will not actually happen to us. Dangerous suppositions, as history and the disciples themselves point out.

      • Susan

        Morning MG, so very sorry to hear you have a family member who is ill and you have been unable to join us in the forum. Please accept my prayers for you and your family with the hope that all will be well.

      • Kevin

        YES!!! That is a very good one!!! I attended that class last year, and bought that DVD. http://www.amazon.com/Seven-Deadly-Sins-Lively-Virtues/dp/B0010J34ZI
        It is good to review it once a year or so!!! (Lent being great time of year)
        Fear is the root of ALL sin… As soon as we fully trust in the Lord, we no longer have fear! Thankfully, it is not an “all or nothing” thing… We can gradually see/feel the progress as we slowly build our trust in him, we can see/feel the fear receding over time.

    • Rosi

      I will keep your ill family member in my prayers for God’s healing.
      The scripture reading that you quoted truly is powerful! It’s one that puts a person back in their place, ,,”so to speak” It is one I think of often during a behavioral self-examination. Lord, help me to be humble!!!

    • pnkyB4brain

      mg, I will be happy to add your family members to my prayers. May God be with you always. Pnky

  • pnkyB4brain

    The disciples were quiet after Christ told them, yet again, about the His death and how He would rise in three days thereafter. I would think that their frame of mind could not comprehend what Jesus was saying because they were thinking of life as we know it. How can someone predict His death? They couldn’t comprehend that their Master would no longer be amongst them. It must have been amazing to walk, talk and live with Jesus while He was on Earth. I have always thought that these special men, with the exception of Judas, possessed a more fervent attitude of faith and Jesus saw this when He asked them to be His Fishers of Men.

    What an astounding Holy Trinity we have that is so alive in our Faith! All this happened for mankind! I am in awe of the unrequited love God, the Father, God, the Son, and God the Holy Spirit has for each of us and no matter how many times we can stray from the Holy Trinity through sin, a true repentant will always be welcomed back.

    • Susan

      Good morning pnkyB4brain, as we approach Easter and all the miracles that will be remembered, I continue to pray for you and your daughter. My prayers are for her comfort and your peace; I am truly sorry for your suffering.

      • pnkyB4brain

        Susan, how wonderful to read you again! Thank you for your kind words. May Go’s will be done. Pnky

  • Carla Archuleta

    As Jesus was sharing his prediction, I believe the disciples did not connect with what The Lord was telling them because they did not want him to go through such pain. It sure hit home when praying the Luminous mystery. At times when I pray this rosary I truly am in full support of what when on so that Jesus would rise on the third day. My tears are on how he had to be put through the pain and hurt, all for us, to get there

  • jacqueline

    The disciples struggled to comprehend Jesus even
    though he told them three times about his passion. They did not want to hear
    and closed their minds to what Jesus was saying. They couldn’t see the fulfilment
    of scripture through their lack of faith. Forgive me Lord, for the many times I have closed
    my mind to your word and what you have planned for me – I am truly sorry.

  • Ann Basile

    Yeah, it’s pretty amazing! The disciples were so clueless that they didn’t even ask Jesus what He meant but continued in faith right along with Him. I guess it was one of those instances when Jesus knew they were too clouded to question at the time, but as they would remember His words after His Passion, it would hit them that Jesus knew all along what was to happen, and this would make even stronger their love for and faith in Our Savior.

    • Rosi

      I guess the saying “hind-sight is 20-20” comes into play. So often things that happen make so much more sense long after the incident took place.

  • Barbara Ann Baugh

    They were unable to comprehend. They were like the blind man in the incident which follows only they will not see until after the Resurrection

  • Liza

    The disciples did not understand but they gave up everything and followed him. Look what they built from that act of faith: billions of souls all over the world following Christ. I have a tiny mustard seed of faith but I know this is a journey I would not miss and I am continuously surprised along the way.

    By the way they did not understand but they sang as he entered Jerusalem and could not be silenced by the fearful pharisees. Reminded me of that “unseemly”behaviour of King David as he accompanied the Ark of the Covenant: his joy could not be contained. Lovely spontaneous people!

    • Fisher

      Never underestimate the power of that mustard seed!

  • mg

    The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.

    There are many times in my life that I do not “understand any of this” or find myself questioning things because I, at the time, do not see the meaning.

    I hope I can always remain as the disciples here and let my silence express my confidence when I do not understand the meaning but understand that everything has a plan, a purpose, and will be fulfilled as God planned.

    • Beverly Hagar-Schmerse

      Sometimes, I go to God in prayer with my questions…I may have been silence in a crowd, but when I am alone with God, I ask Him to show me what I don’t understand…He can and will do this in His own time…and as we know His timing is perfect.

      • Clem

        You’re right, Beverly, we have to learn to be patient with His timing.

    • Fisher

      I often need to be beaten over the head with the 2×4 of grace, or sound asleep to actually hear God’s will and answers for me.

    • Rosi

      Even when I don’t ‘get it’ Lord…..I trust in you!

  • pnkyB4brain

    The disciples responded in silence because they did not understand what Jesus was talking about. What amazes me is the depth of their faith in Jesus even though they did not understand everything that was told to them. When reading about the disciples, though, I am in awe of their faith. They question what Jesus says in their hearts but believes in the Man, The Son of God, Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
    I sometimes take for granted my faith. I don’t think I do this intentionally, but a self-righteous attitude overtakes the proper attitude of gratefulness and reverence for my wonderful faith.

  • Avila

    The disciples response to Jesus’ third prediction of His passion was simply to stay faithful even though they did not understand, because the Word was hidden from them. However, even though they did not understand, the words Jesus spoke, these words must have been inscribed in their minds, hearts and souls so that they could be passed from generation to generation and spread throughout the world.

    It also seems to tie up to the Sunday reading of the Samaritan at the well. She listened to Jesus, did not understand, yet received the gift of faith which she immediately shared with her community. That unnamed woman must have been one awesome lady.

    When I recall how many Bible readings I have heard during mass, the chapters read (sometimes 3 or 4 times) as part of Bible studies or simply just reading on my own, I realise how often the word was hidden. Often it was due to my ignorance of the language, culture or history at that time, other times I needed to wait so that I could be prepared to receive the word and finally, the word was hidden because I did not open either the book or myself. Like the disciples, I need to listen and read the word, retain it and trust that the truth will be revealed in God’s time and for His purpose.

    • Beverly Hagar-Schmerse

      Thank you for this awesome testimony, Avila…one of how we as believers in God, need not fear stepping out in faith to stand with our God…it is truly right that we should reprimand ourselves for those times we have not done so, because that leads to repentance. And repentance leads to conversion of heart, mind, body, and soul. And that, in the end, is what God is ultimately wanting to happen in us. So God be praised when we are convicted by faith…for faith leads to God…and we can always trust in God to see that we get to Him, one way or another. Bless be our God…

      • Jim Rivers

        We are all the woman at the well in our search for Christ. She comes seeking water, water so necessary for life;she comes using all her senses, her will, her intellect. She thinks at first she must use the things of the world( water jugs, husbands, money) to find the water for which she thirsts. It is not to be found there.
        To find the Source of the water, siitting next to her at the well is unexpected, surprising, a person whom her world call “different”
        However she is open to finding living, e relating water, water for all seasons, for all times, water which always refreshes. Hopeful!
        She begins cautiously, “Sir”,respectfully questioning,desiring to see truth, the truth of this living water. She thinks, perhaps he is a prophet because he knows her innermost self; he knows but does not turn away from a sinner. He invites, he asks, daresay he begs her to join him with his eternal water. His love gives her hope.
        Little by little her faith increases; dare she hope the “Messiah”, the one so long awaited. His words prompt her to move forward in faith, to have him speak the truth which she now knows deep in her heart; and so she nw hastens to tell others of this one who has living, everlasting water reaching to heaven.

        • Beverly Hagar-Schmerse

          Thank you, Jim, that was awesome…

          Prayer III
          Father God, to you I commend all the families I belong to:
          My own family; my own and my husband’s relatives;
          my Church family; the city in which I live;
          The county I am in; The state in which I reside;
          The country I am a part of;
          The continent that we are on;
          And the world at large…
          We are all each every one a part of Your family.
          And in need of a Father…I am sorry for times we have turned from you,
          May I offer this little prayer to you in recognition of You
          As our Father and the head of this dysfunctional family.
          I know that in spite of all our quirks and oddities,
          You love us, and surprisingly trust in us to come to our senses…
          Sooner or later…What trust You have in us!!!
          I pray that we may eventually turn to have that much trust in You!!

        • Fisher

          “And she left her water jar behind.”

          • Beverly Hagar-Schmerse

            I liked that, too, Fisher…:)

          • Fisher

            It will be the title of my book on the (not so) new evangelization!

        • pnkyB4brain

          Jim, I agree with Beverly. What you wrote is truly awesome. It is so true that we search for “true” happiness in what is here on Earth, but what really gives us true happiness is complete and utter faith in Our God.

    • Fran

      I too have heard this reading many times – Mass & Bible studies. Just today, I went to Mass twice due to various functions. The second time I heard it today, I was given yet another insight. Learning from the Word of God is unending. Each time, It is like opening a new present!

      • Avila

        I wonder if it is called the living word, not only because it is Jesus (word made flesh) but because it is as you say “like opening a new present” each time we read it?

    • Barbara Ann Baugh

      I too believe that the Samaritan woman was awesome. She has been rejected by five husbands and the man who “protects her” does not have enough respect for her to marry her. Yet she is the person who brings Jesus’ to her people (who have little respect from the Jews)