Second Wednesday of Lent

Readings: Jer 18: 18-20 / Ps 31: 5-6, 14-16 / Mt 20: 17-28

POWER…PLOTTING…PASSION…POWER…PLOTTING… PASSION…POWER…PLOTTING…PPP!

The scriptures invite us to ponder the challenging circumstances of Jeremiah being PLOTTED for his life, the plea of our Psalmist to be rescued from the PLOTTING for his life and Jesus’ journey from being PLOTTED for his life and handed over to PASSION. The readings today invite us to meditate on our journey in life by examining our use of POWER and our capacity for PLOTTING.

Jeremiah prays to God to deliver him from his adversaries, the priests, prophets and wise men who are PLOTTING to dig a pit to take is life, to murder him.  The Psalmist begs for salvation from God as the crowd consults together and PLOTS to take his life, and Jesus tells the Twelve he is being PLOTTED against by the chief priests and scribes who will condemn him to death and hand him over for crucifixion. In Matthew’s gospel in the third prediction of the PASSION, Jesus articulates his understanding of PLOTTING and POWER.    To emphasize the tensions embedded in PLOTTING and POWER, the mother of two of the twelve PLOTS for privilege in ranking for her sons and uses her POWER which creates division in the community

Think of a time that you intentionally PLOTTED!  Or were PLOTTED against by others!  Think of a time you were challenged on your use of POWER!   Jesus offers us the free choice to PLOT for the common good and to exercise authentic POWER to free others for human flourishing.

The PLOTTERS of Jeremiah, our Psalmist and Jesus use their POWER for destruction and death.   Jesus chooses to model authentic POWER by choosing death for the ransom of all.  Jesus defines authentic POWER identifying with the slave, the servant, who at this time in history was the lowest in society and not legally considered human, yet is the greatest in the community.

Save us O Lord in your kindness…free us from the snare they have set for me!

POWER…PLOTTING…PASSION…POWER…PLOTTING…PASSION…
POWER…PLOTTING…PPP!

Beth Hassel, PBVM
Center for Faith and Learning