Lenten Devotional – Day 37 – Bad Day
How the Lord in his anger has humiliated daughter Zion! Lamentations 2:1 …I wrote to you out of much distress and anguish of heart and with many tears… 2 Corinthians 2:4 The Parable of the Wicked Tenants: “This is the heir; come, let us kill him…” (Mark 12:7)
What negative readings we have for today! God is angry with the Chosen People; Paul has had a hard time with the people of Corinth and they, with him; Jesus is reproaching the temple authorities for their rejection of him, the Messiah, and they are angry and fearful. What are we to make of such painful and difficult passages, especially when grouped together? But then, this is the middle of Holy Week, and the climax of the Passion is approaching; even the psalms for the day are “dark.”
These are very human emotions, feelings with which we can all identify. Perhaps it is appropriate that we stop to consider that the human condition has always been troublesome, even for the Son of God in human form. He’s had a very bad week since he entered Jerusalem, and it will get worse. He has cursed a fig tree (hard to see what that bit’s about!), driven the animal-sellers from the Temple, overturned the tables of the money-changers, and lectured the disciples about asking for forgiveness when they pray, even as their prayers are answered. The chief priests, scribes, and elders have confronted him, and the Pharisees and Herodians will be next, then the Sadducees. He must realize that there is no way to avoid a violent outcome to his ministry on earth. There’s no happy ending for this week!
I think we have to look at these readings as people who know how the story comes out. The bad times will be concealed by the glory and joy of the Resurrection—but not quite yet. We must still wrestle with some very intense lessons about pain and suffering and where the Kingdom of God is to be found.
Prayer: Holy God, source of all wisdom, creator of all that is, guide your children in all things, that we may learn the lessons to which you have set us and be refined by the times of trial that life will bring us. Help us to be obedient and cheerful, seeking your guidance in all circumstances, that we may be strengthened to fulfill your purposes and bring glory to your name. Amen.