Reflection on the Gospel
of the Thursday After Ash Wednesday
Suffering is something everyone struggles with. And in the Gospels we find Jesus accepting it and embracing it. He even tasks his Disciples to embrace it. Have we than in all our human understanding understood wrongly what Suffering and Sorrow are?
In the allegorical work, Hinds Feet on the High Places the author, Hannah Hurnard presents Suffering and Sorrow as the companions to the Young Traveller and Heroine in the Book. They have been given to her as companions by the Chief Shepherd (Jesus), on her journey to his Kingdom in the High Places. She at first rejects them and complains to the Chief Shepherd about the type of Companions given to her. He asks her to trust Him, which she does and begins her travel with them. At the end of her transformation and arrival in the Kingdom, at the end, her eyes are opened from her own bias and she is able to recognise them as Joy and Peace.
Jesus in this Gospel is inviting us to be transformed in our thoughts and ideologies, pick up the cross of denying ourselves the comfort of human conventions, ideas and principles, in which we have grown up, which we understand and in which we are comfortable. Pick up the Cross of Jesus’ Discipleship – i.e. God’s way of seeing rightly, which is upside – down according to how the world sees things, but actually is the correct way, and live it.
This season is the correct time to discard everything that is this world’s way of thinking, and start learning at the Chief Shepherd’s feet. Jesus said, I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life, embrace Him and follow whatever He says, let not your understanding, hamper you in accepting Jesus fully. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in this.