Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
Surely death is one of the greatest movements -and the greatest mystery –of life; preparation is key to living into death well. Knowing he is soon ascending to his Father, Jesus has a final deep talk with Peter who will become the leader of his band of Apostles. After eliciting his successor’s affirmation of committed love and instructing him to look after his ‘flock’, the Lord speaks to Peter about his greatest personal mystery, ‘the kind of death by which he would glorify God’. When Christ Jesus prepares Peter in this way for his martyrdom, he prepares him to recognize that no matter what happens, love binds him to his Master. Jesus’ preparation of Peter for his difficult death prepares each of his disciples (including us today) - for the suffering they (we) may also endure while approaching our final hours on earth. There is another kind of death that we may experience, a death that is not heralded by suffering, but rather by the mantle of not-knowing. By responding to Peter’s (perhaps somewhat jealous) ‘What-about-him’ question, Jesus makes it clear to his disciples that each is called to live only into his/her own death. John is thus prepared for another style of death – a passing-over seemingly unheralded by anguish, a death that happens in the twinkling of an eye. What kind of death is in store for me, a death of suffering or of quickly passing on? Can I trust that my kind of death will be my own unique way of glorifying God? Can I trust God to prepare me to live –and be loved -into my kind of death? Christ Jesus, prepare me to live into the kind of death that I will have.
For the Lord is righteous; he loves right deeds; the upright shall behold his face. (Psalm 11)
If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.
Corrie Ten Boom
www.gospelmysteryoftheday.ca & Gospel Mystery of the Day on Facebook
Soli ad gloriam Dei
Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.