Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Stricken Shepherd

“You will all lose faith in me this night, for the scripture says: I shall strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered, but after my resurrection I shall go before you to Galilee.” (Matthew 26: 31)

Jesus predicts what is going to happen to him. He knew the definite plan and foreknowledge of God to hand him over to death on the cross. The disciples were unaware of this plan. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “Jesus’ violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but it is part of the mystery of God’s plan.” (CCC #599)

Jesus predicted his future to teach his disciples to trust him completely with their own future. He was their friend and leader for three years and he understood that the shock of his passion and death would be too much for them to bear. He knows the strengths and weaknesses of man, so he took time to prepare them for the grim events that would follow shortly. This prediction and fulfillment will form the faith of the disciples. It also forms our faith in the omniscience of Jesus. We trust him when we trust his word. We trust him when we surrender our future to his lovable and all-powerful providence.

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