"Now a young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body. They seized him, but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked." Mk 14: 50-52
Palm Sunday introduces us to an intriguing young fellow, someone who it is easy to smile about or ignore, but we should do neither. The young man wearing nothing but a linen cloth who runs off naked when the leaders of the Jews try to seize him, at first seems to be an embarrassment, but as we read further in Mark's gospel, he appears again at the tomb of Jesus. The same young man who appears to be captured and killed, leaves his burial cloth behind so that Jesus' disciples will know that nothing can contain the Lord, neither death nor life.
No matter how hard we try, it is difficult to let go of our desire to figure out life and death. If we are able to understand something or someone, we tell ourselves, we will be able to control it. Nothing can be further from the truth of the gospel. The majesty of God, this week experienced in his suffering and death, cannot be reduced to words, gestures or rituals. Jesus, the Son of God, is beyond language and easy classification, but he is always with us even when he seems to run away naked. Without the eyes of faith we are blind to the mystery of how much God loves us. Faith alone allows us to "see" that God chooses never to live without us.
Today, ask not to avoid death, but to live with the belief that there is no death in Christ.
Have you ever been tempted to run away from life in order to escape death?