Centuries separated Jeremiah and Jesus, yet basic truths connect them forcibly.
Both were living expressions of persons in deep love with God. Both had a similar mission: to proclaim the Word of the Lord, in season and out. Their actions brought insult and derision and both were ridiculed and held up as a laughing-stock to the nations, one a son of God, the other, the Son of the Father, foreshadowing more revelation about our relationship with the Creator.
“Jesus began to make it clear…” This teaching period followed the appointment of Peter as rock and entrusted with the keys. We don’t know how long this period of instruction lasted. Sometimes we humans need extensive instruction before we get the message, and even then, we can earn the rebuke, “Get behind me, Satan!” Taking the cross was not easy for Jeremiah or Jesus or Peter…nor for us. It may not mean physical crucifixion in Jerusalem, but it could mean something as simple as taking up our daily prayers again, pitching in with St Vinnies, speaking the truth at a meeting, pulling my weight at work; or recognising the grand culture of loving in action that we have inherited in our Church community. Paul says, “Do not model yourselves on the behaviour of the world.” That was a tough ask in 50 CE and every bit as tough today.
We turn the corner on our journey today, and now our faces are set with Jesus’s for Jerusalem. He is asking his friends and disciples to accompany him. Will we?