by John Morton
"Being a Christian is about accepting the suffering of the world, facing that suffering, and persevering through it."
Fully Alive’s Lenten Scriptural Commentary helps Christians get more out of Lent by taking God’s word seriously.
Mostly avoiding personal stories and anecdotes, our commentary dives deeply into the scripture readings for each day and applies them to the broader context of Lent. We use the daily Mass readings from the Catholic lectionary.
If possible, read each passage slowly, taking in each word. If you find that you’ve hurried through a reading, read it over a few more times. Let the words reverberate in your heart. After you’ve let it sink in, read our Lenten Scriptural Commentary.
Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent
The Old Testament reading tells a familiar story: the rejection of a prophet, the rejection of truth. In today’s Gospel, we hear the foreshadowing of the ultimate rejection of truth, and we see a glimpse of what the Kingdom of God really entails.
Readings: Jer 18:18-20/Mt 20:17-28
Click here to read the complete text from the USCCB website
The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said,
“Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah.
It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests,
nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets.
And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue;
let us carefully note his every word.”
(cf. Jer 18: 18-20)
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many."
(cf. MT 20:25-28)
Rejection of the prophets by their contemporaries is a familiar story in the Old Testament. The prophets seek not only to do God’s will, but to care for, to protect, to educate, to serve, the people of Israel. And yet time and time again they are rejected, thrown out of their communities, sometimes even killed. The same injustice happens to Christ, the same persecution of truth is repeated.
This trend continues today. Christ is doing the same for us, praying for us, pleading for us, and serving us, and yet so many continue to misrepresent his words, persecute his followers, and ridicule his teachings.
The sons of Zebedee, John and James, two disciples of Christ, ask to be at his right and left in his kingdom, but as Christ says that they do not know what they ask. For that is not a position of glory, not in this world. That is a position which must accept this persecution ten-fold, and must face defeat, and still serve and love those who seek to defeat them.
Being a Christian is about accepting the suffering of the world, facing that suffering, and persevering through it.
John Morton is a writer, historian, and theologian from Minnesota. He founded Fully Alive with Erik Ritland in 2017. In addition to writing articles, he is also the podcast co-host and social media content strategist.
Erik Ritland is a journalist and musician. He's the lead staff writer and podcast host of Fully Alive Christian Media and Rambling On, a blog and podcast covering sports, music, and culture.