Holy Week Reflection: Standing with Christ

Following Christ, at times, goes against many of our basic instincts. Never is this more evident than during Holy Week, when the very people that have witnessed, listened to, and followed Jesus during his ministry are faced with his arrest, torture, and execution. We know that humans, like most animals, will naturally either fight or flee when faced with a threat. It's unsurprising, then, that when Jesus is to be arrested, Peter wields his sword in defense of the Messiah. But Jesus says no to this violence. Once fighting is "off the table," so to speak, the disciples choose the second option and flee. Stunningly, Jesus does neither, but faces death for the sake of humanity.

What must it have been like for the disciples during those days? They had put themselves at risk by following Jesus. They had broken laws and social norms; they had embraced those that they were taught to despise. But they persisted, even when overcome with doubt. Now, the walls were crumbling around them. With all of their human expectations and fears, they could not trust in the promise of the Resurrection.

Like the disciples, we too often flee from and deny Christ for our own sake. We deny Him when we ignore those in need; we flee from Him when we refuse to stand up for what is right. And we reject Him when we excuse violence as a means to do God's will. But, like the disciples, we also can know the joy of giving ourselves to Him, of serving and loving His people. Living God's mission will always be difficult. But, as the disciples saw when they came back rejoicing after being sent to witness Christ, the greatest joy and fulfillment is found in answering that call.

As we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection, let us strive to hear and answer that call, as well. And when we stray, let us remember that even Peter, who denied Jesus three times, turned back to God as the rock of the God's Church.