There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem. Mark 15:40-41
Being on the outside looking in can be a very disheartening place to be. Today we meet a group of women, who had been close with Jesus. They had cared for him and provided for him, while he was alive. But now in the moment of Jesus’ death, they are labeled mere onlookers. They find themselves at a distance.
In our own lives of faith, this can be a recurring theme. We can go from being active and feeling as though our faith is burning within us, to feeling as though nothing makes sense. It is as though we have become like those at a distance. Lent has been a time of special devotion, with heightened attention given to our own spiritual lives. In this we have practiced our faith, building and strengthening the knowledge of doing and being that is at the core of faith.
On this Maundy Thursday, we remember Jesus giving to the Church a memorial of his life, death and resurrection. In Holy Eucharist we are invited into the story, into the life of faith. It is a gift that invites us, with each celebration, to remember and to grow. It is a gift that challenges us to not remain on the outside looking in, but rather to roll up our sleeves and but our hearts, hands and minds to work, in living out the knowledge of doing and being.
Today take a bit of time to acknowledge the times and situations that have made you feel at a distance, and to remember also when you have felt close to God and strong in faith.
The Rev. Andrew Kellner
Saint Christopher’s, Gladwyne