Thursday, March 29, 2012

Naked he fled.

My forsthia bushes have been going strong for about a week now. They seem to glow from within.
I'm starting to meditate on St. Mark's account of the Passion of Jesus. I am intrigued by two verses that appear only in Mark and seem superfluous. After Jesus has been seized by his enemies in the garden and all of his disciples have "deserted him and fled," Mark says, "A certain young man was following him, naked except for a linen cloth. They seized him, but he left behind the linen cloth, and naked he fled." (14;51-52)
Throughout his Gospel Mark shows the disciples as pretty dim. They simply don't get it. They consistently misunderstand Jesus and here at the end they run away. It's as if this young man thinks that he's not like them. He sticks around. But when push comes to shove, he is so eager to get away that he wiggles out of what little he has on and runs off. I sort of admire him for giving it an extra try and feel sad that he so desperately gives up.
Ray Brown asks "Why is the absolute failure of the disciples Good News?" and he answers, "The mystery of Mark's Gospel is that God succeeds and accomplishes his purpose amidst human failure." That's Good News for those of us who fail so often.

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