We come this weekend to the third Sunday of Lent. When looking at the life of Jesus, His mission was to go to Jerusalem. In the Gospel of Mark, the author says that He “sets His face” towards it. What does that mean? It means intent. Jesus was fixated on Jerusalem. It is the purpose for which He came. He came to earth to undergo His Passion. He is the expression of the Father’s love for us and He is all about that love. It is all that matters to Him and it is all that matters to us.
As Jesus journeys to Jerusalem for His Passion, He performs miracles, raises people from the dead, gives sermons, feeds the hungry, and gives faith and hope to those He encounters. All of these moments on His journey are lessons to us of how deep the Father’s love is for us. All of these moments are also directed towards the Passion. They need to be seen in the light of suffering, death, and Resurrection. Jesus’ actions and words during His public ministry cannot be taken out of the context of the Passion. If we do, then Jesus was a nice man who lived two thousand years ago who did and said some really nice things. That’s not who He is. That is not why He came.
In our journey through Lent (and our lives really), the good deeds and words that we do and say should be framed the same way. If we keep the Passion of Christ as the center point - if we “set our face” towards the Passion, then our lives have meaning. Our sufferings and pains become moments of Resurrection. Our sufferings and pains can actually point other people (and ourselves) towards the depth of the Father’s love for them (and us). Our goal during Lent, and specifically this Third Sunday in Lent, is to pray for the grace to be a person of the Passion of Christ. To be consumed by it, fixated on it. We are so close to Easter now and the great celebration of His Passion and the Father’s love for us. May we fix our gaze on Jerusalem.
May the Lord give you His peace,