Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Scenes from the Life of Christ

Michael at Reach Paradise has a great new meditative MEME going called Fly on the Wall! Pick three stories from Christ's life and reflect on them as if you were really there. You cannot choose His birth or any time period from the Last Supper on.

Here's the question:
If you could go back and watch any hour of Christ's life, which hour would you choose and why?

Here are my top three:

Three Scenes From the Life of Christ

1. I think that I can most relate to the hidden years of Jesus life. Those years must have been so simple, maybe even a bit like my own. Whenever I meditate upon the crucified Christ, his bloodied knees always stand out to me. More than the crown that pierces his head or the nails in his hands and feet, his knees cry out to me! How many times might Mary have knelt at the side of the child Jesus and bandaged scraped and bloody knees from the falls that he must have taken as an exuberant and energetic child? In my own years of mothering small children, I have winced with them as I applied antibiotic ointment, I've gone through countless boxes of band-aids, and tried to kiss the pain away more times than I can count. It comforts me to know that Mary and Jesus must have gone through that same ritual many times as well.

2. I suppose it sounds gory, but I would like to have been a witness as Legion was cast out of the man in the cemetery and was sent into the swine who then hurled themselves off the cliff. One thing has always bothered me about this scene, and really I suppose it is such a little detail, but I always thought that swine were unclean animals and that Jewish people were not allowed to eat pork for this reason. I always wondered why any farmer would raise swine and what they could have been used for if not for eating. Also, I can identify with the man who was invaded by Legion. After he was healed, he wanted to stay with Jesus, but Jesus said no. I think it would be less painful to go mad and beat myself with rocks than to be rejected by Jesus. I wish I could have been there to comfort his broken heart when Jesus refused to let the healed man stay with Him.

3. My all-time favorite bible scene is that of Mary Magdalene sobbing at Christ's feet and drying her tears and the ointment with her hair. I long to see Jesus gently reaching down to hold her and bless her with His forgiveness. It must have been an amazing scene, especially since from that day forward, she never sinned again. I don't know about you, but no matter how many times I am forgiven, I always seem to fall back into those same old patterns that sent me seeking forgiveness in the first place. Maybe the next time I go to confession, I should bring an alabaster jar of aromatic nard with me!

Visit Reach Paradise and join in with your own reflections!


  1. Anne,
    Great moments and great thoughts for meditation. I never thought of that aspect of the Jewish people and the swine. Maybe that's why Jesus sent Legion into them. I still always feel kind of sorry for those poor unsuspecting pigs though :)

  2. Anne, I thought about the swine also (as you know, this reading was yesterday's Gospel). According to the footnotes of the New American Bible, "The tending of pigs, animals considered unclean by Mosaic law (Lev 11:6-7), indicates that the population was Gentile." Another case where Jesus ministers to ALL, not just to the "holy ones."

    Peace to your day.

  3. I love the scene of Mary Magdalene weeping at the feet of Christ! This meme is a great idea but I wish that it included the Passion, I love meditating on this. I guess the purpose is to look more deeply into the rest of his life though. Great meditations :) I'll have to go check out the link. It's strange how much you have been on my mind lately. Every single day this week as I've been praying, actually. May the Lord's peace encompass you.

  4. Oh Mary, my sweet blogging friend, thank you so much for your kind words and your prayers-I've sure been needing them!

    And Anonymous-thanks for the facts on the swine-that always bothered me! Aren't we blessed to know that Jesus is for everyone? There's so much hope in that!

  5. Your choices are POWERFUL ones Anne! WOW!
    I had never really paused to think deeply about how that man must have felt when Jesus said he couldn't stay with Him...but you're right...what could be more devastating? I suppose we can't think of it as "rejection" but only that it was not the man's place as toward the glory of God's plan at the moment...but still...that poor dear man...
    I was hoping John had participated in this meme but I see only the January post on his blog. I hope he is well and merely too busy for blogging these days...I'd love to know his three choices!

  6. In prayerful reflectionFebruary 3, 2010 at 10:14 AM

    Jesus healed the man who was possesed by Legion then asked the man to spread the word of his healing. He did not reject the man at all-- and I'd think He couldn't. It is not in God's nature to reject His creation.

    Let's look again at the Word:
    "But Jesus would not permit him (to stay) but told him instead, 'Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.' Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed."

    Again remember that this man was a Gentile, whom Jesus not only healed but who was ASKED by Jesus to spread the word of the Messiah among his hometown (also Gentiles, one presumes). This is in great contrast to today's Gospel, when Jesus is in "his native place," among the people who call themselves faithful, and yet is able to cure so few because of their lack of faith. (Mark 6:1-6) and to the many times Jesus heals Jewish outcasts (e.g., lepers, the blind man) and exhorts them NOT to tell, but they do anyway.

    It is over this that I find myself praying. How often are we, the "holy church" broken and unhealed because we do not have faith, and we do not see Jesus where he is, because he appears among those whom we think are not as "holy," who are not in "the true church," whose practice is different from our own.

    I find it very humbling.

  7. IPR, Thank you so much for your insightful and thoughtful comments! It is obvious that you have prayed over this scripture passage much more than I have! I only took it as far as my own mood would take me, I kept it about my own feelings of rejection and then really blamed Jesus as if He was rejecting the possessed man, and as if He was rejecting me.

    But to carry the passage to its completion really does show that Jesus was greatly honoring this man in asking him to assist Him in His mission by helping to spread the word, not only to His own native place, but to EVERYBODY. And the man said "yes" and immediately went to work on his task.

    Today, I will pray to be more like that man, to accept healing but to understand that it comes with responsibility. I can't cling to Jesus and rest in His love, I must carry His love with me and share it with others.

    Yes, definitely humbling!

  8. Anne,

    Wonderful answers.

    I'm always wonder about the early years. Its so hard to think about Jesus and Mary going through such "mundane" things isnt it? But as you noted, they most likely did!

    The Legion scene has always been intriguing to me. The demons. Their fear of Christ. And pigs just running off a cliff.

    And you've captured Mary Magdalene's famous scene so nicely - its such a moving event.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Anne, your reflections on the scenes from the life of Christ are so beautiful that my heart aches.

    God bless and thank you.