We enter Holy Week stripped of all that stood between us and God just weeks ago. During Lent, Mark’s gospel led us to cleanse our lives of idols that told us it was okay to stay in our “comfortable religion” space, where we weren’t challenged to act in the world on behalf of life and God’s plan of liberation for the oppressed.
The Messianic secret unique to Mark is fully revealed in the passion and the cross. Mark’s Jesus suffers because of his loyalty to those who suffer. It is not suffering for the sake of suffering, nor suffering willed by God, but suffering that is a consequence of the struggle for justice in a world in which people freely choose evil in all its manifestations.
Only when we are prepared to face (and live) this reality does Mark lead us to the resurrection. His account is the most sparse, direct, and open-ended of any gospel author and more a beginning than an end to the story. Our task is its completion. During the weeks following the resurrection, the disciples struggle to understand what has happened and its implications for their faith. In the end, their understanding of the resurrection is less important than their faith that it happened, for such faith impels them to become full ambassadors of Christ in the world, entering the struggle for redemption and bearing the cross that comes with it. Christ is risen! Alleluia!
Now let’s get to work.
Michaela Bruzzese, a Sojourners contributing writer, lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Liberated for Freedom
Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 14:1 - 15:47