This past week, when we heard about the tragic death of several people in Brussels & the terrible injuries suffered by a few hundred people in those terrorist attacks, we probably said to ourselves or to another, "What a shame that something like that should happen again." But then, for us, life went on as usual. Maybe we said a prayer for them. Our civic & religious leaders rightly said that our thoughts & prayers were with them. But sooner or later, we forgot what happened & moved on with the plans for the day.
But imagine how differently we would have reacted to that news if one of the people who died or was injured was a family member or a friend. We wouldn't be able to stop thinking about it. We would shed real tears & feel real sadness & grief. Life would not go on for us as usual.
Over the past 40 days of Lent, we have been challenged to let the story of Jesus personally involve us. But again for us, the tragic news of Christ's suffering, death & resurrection does not hit us as deeply as it did his friends. We feel bad for Jesus & perhaps said some extra prayers this week. But life will go on for us & we will do what we usually do. But what happened to Jesus made an enormous difference to those who knew him personally & loved him as their friend. Peter & John were so struck with the news that they RAN to the tomb to see what happened. St. Francis of Assisi had such a personal relationship w/ the Lord that he was not able to eat in the same room where a crucifix hung on the wall for it made him too sad. His faith was personal. We are disciples of the Lord when we admire Jesus for what he did. But we will be real friends of the Lord when these events in his life forever change our lives.