Death isn’t always the easiest subject to discuss. Yet many times a person who is dying has things they want and even need to say to those they love.
This was true of Jesus who talked to his disciples about his death before they could imagine he would leave them. In this image from the 12th century window of Jesus’s Passion and Resurrection he leans towards them, emphasizing his concern and love for them.
The disciples, like many whose denial blocks their ability to see the death that is nearer than they wish, each react differently.
The disciple closest to Jesus reaches for his heart.
A second disciple appears to retreat into his head–as if understanding would make things right.
The third disciple seems to lean into the conversation with his upper body–while physically retreating with his legs.
Take a moment to remember the last time someone tried to talk to you about death. How do you wish you had engaged?
For courage beyond anything I have known, I pray.
Invitation to Prayer:
Copy the body posture (position of the head, hands and torso) of Jesus or one of the disciples. As you hold that position and think about the past or future death or a loved one, pray the prayer of your heart.
While everyone was amazed at all that Jesus was doing, he said to his disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying. Luke 9:43b-45
Scene two from the Passion Window at Chartres Cathedral (1145-55)
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Thank you for your beautiful and meaningful blog. Through your words, I saw a new connection between the difficulty of facing death and (perhaps) the lack of understanding of the disciples when Jesus spoke. I wonder how much of their incomprehension was due to fear.