And Him Crucified

The Rt. Rev. Craig Loya

And Him Crucified

Beloved in Christ,

Jesus brings the tough love to Peter in this Sunday’s gospel lesson. “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things” (Mark 8:33). The Messiah was to lead the people of God in the violent overthrow of the Roman Empire, and here he is telling them he is planning to save the world by letting that very empire execute him. Peter, understandably, points out that that’s a crazy thing to suggest. And Jesus not so gently invites him and us to to turn our minds around and embrace a different kind of hope, and a different kind of life. 

The economics of the cross demand a complete reorientation of our mindset. In our lives and our churches, we are so often fixated on how we protect, preserve, and expand what we have. The economics of the cross remind us that we are truly fed by giving, we save it by losing it, we truly live when we are fully willing to die. 

That’s the call, the cost, and the promise of discipleship. Lent is a time when we are called to practice the economics of the cross. The spiritual disciplines we take on, and the things we abstain from in this season, are meant to help us learn to feel and know, little by little, that the way of the cross is the way of life and peace. 

In the Daily Office lectionary for today, St. Paul says “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified ”(1 Corinthians 2:2). May this Lent be for us a time to know nothing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified. May God form us into a church, a people in the world who know nothing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified, until, by and through Jesus’ cross and resurrection, God makes our whole hurting creation new with life, love, justice, and peace. 

Grace and Peace,

The Right Reverend Craig Loya