The passion predictions of the Gospel of Mark are tightly associated with the Church itself. The passion predictions indicate the first among all the sufferings of Christ is at the hands of churchmen. This association is not a new revelation rather an early understanding of the rights and responsibilities of the Episcopate and the Chair of Saint Peter. It is good in our times to be reminded of what this may mean and how it can be aligned again to the heart of charity.
|Predict||Gospel Mark||Passion||Immediate Teaching||Episcopate|
|First||8:31-33||Son of Man suffers/killed at the hand of the false religious||Deny Self
Separation & Firmness
|Second||9:30-32||Handed over, killed, rise again||Greatest of Twelve – Servant
Internal, Spiritual & Visible w Governance
|Third||10:32-34||Jerusalem/Priest/Gentiles scourged and put to death||Ambition of James and John
Seated RT Hand
Peter himself is rebuked by Jesus when he thinks as man does and not of God. This is interesting as Peter is given ‘the Seat’ because the Lord has chosen him to proclaim “You are the Messiah”.
One can point out that Peter, although preeminent, is held to the standard of the mind of God. Nothing less is acceptable. God, complete self-giving, expects the Church to emulate the same to the extent the Holy Spirit has given the strength to be thus.
The Lord is firm in this matter. We must separate from faithless and sinful teachings (generations) and follow unreservedly.
The famous first/last of greatness teaching. Today is the feast of Padre Pio by coincidence. He taught us all the humility of that Capuchin priest. He was obedient to ‘the Seat’ even as they misunderstood the holiness of the visions and healings. Padre Pio suffered obediently many censors and restrictions unfairly. How much more so those in error? The second passion proposes we become like children in unity. The second passion is sealed by the unity of the treatment of children.
It is clear to see that for the Lord the governance of the Church must first be grounded in the wellbeing of children. This wellbeing is wellness internally in each bishop with a healthy spirit and at the same time the episcopate must be governed visibly.
The prediction of abuse and crucifixion of Jesus by chief priests and Gentile alike. The teaching immediately following is the ambition of James and John. Jesus notes that ambition on the episcopate is to be avoided and the priestly functions should be closely held to. The authentic ministerial follower of Christ is first a good priest becoming even yourself a ransom for many.
The ruling authenticity of the Christian faith is centered in the inclusiveness (ransom for all) and apostolicity (those who have been prepared).
Let us continue to pray for decisive action by the episcopate to right this wrong. It has been from the beginning the harshest pain of the Lord the three Passion Predictions so closely illustrated by the Church itself.
Peace be with you.