Friday, June 13, 2008

Daily Office Reflection: The Known Unknown

Psalms 69:1-23(24-30)31-38 * 73; Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:14; Galatians 5:25-6:10; Matthew 16:21-28

So many times in life we can be "on" and then just completely miss the point. It is like we have this moment of clarity and understanding and articulateness that we then just lose the next moment.

We see that today with Peter, who chastises Jesus, taking him aside after Jesus makes his prediction of his Passion and death. And Jesus replies by calling Peter Satan. In yesterday's Daily Office reading, we are in this same chapter of Matthew, just six verses back in the chapter, Jesus is extolling Peter's brilliance and prescience in recognizing him as the Messiah. Peter had such clarity, and then when he hears what that Messiahship truly entails, he recoils and tells Jesus "no, no, no". I think Peter's terror shuttered his mind to the ability to see the path ahead. Jesus was walking into the known unknown, and Peter just couldn't (yet) get  to that place. 

If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me, Jesus says after calling Peter Satan (after having just told him the church was going to be built on the rock that is Peter). Notice that Jesus says take up their cross not take up my cross. Jesus is telling his followers (including us) that we have to take up the cross each of us has and follow him into the known unknown. We need to give up certainty for uncertainty. Go to that place where things will be lost and yet greater things will be found. This goes against our human nature of wanting surety and understanding and certainty of outcome.

Walking into the known unknown, with Jesus as our guide. Something to think about today.

Copyright 2008. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.

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