The tide is
rolling in.

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives how to know the LORD. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD

Today marks the 1st Sunday of Passiontide, the beginning of the two weeks before the Solemnity of the Resurrection. It is a time in which we can most deeply encounter Jesus by walking with Him.

We began our Lenten journey by receiving ashes and pledging to walk with Jesus for forty days as He fasted and prayed. Now that journey is drawing to a close.

As in any long journey we perceive the fact that we tire as the journey gets closer to the end. Being near the end we have choices to make. Do we continue the same walk we have been on for the past five weeks? Do we give up now because we are tired or because we never really got started anyway? Or, do we double down, and chose to walk more closely with Jesus in this Passiontide?

The right choice is to walk more closely with Jesus. The time is drawing near and over the next two weeks we will recall Jesus teaching in the Temple as He tries to change the hearts of those who would hear Him. We see Him headed to the Upper Room where He will teach His closest friends, will wash their feet, and will leave them the gift of His body and blood through which they will ever be with Him. He will walk to the Garden to pray. He will be arrested, tortured, and will face false accusers at trial before unjust and mocking judges. He will be whipped, carry His own cross, be nailed to it, and die on it. He will be buried in a borrowed tomb.

How close will we be with Him in this Passiontide? Jesus reminds us today: Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.

To walk more closely with Jesus requires something tremendous, that we give up our life, our ways, our opinions, our judgment of right and wrong and conform to Jesus’ way – He is the Way. Passiontide tests us more thoroughly. When the going gets tiring and tougher, will we walk way or work harder? Is where He is the place we really want to be? These are very difficult questions, and our answers – if they are right – will be persecuted in the world. Yet we have the promise of true freedom and victory. Let us walk more closely with Jesus for He was lifted up to draw us all closer to Him.