How to conquer the Challenge of Discernment: Pause to Pray

#MyMassTakeaway for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion.

Today I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the poor apostles in their confusion.

First, they thought Jesus communicated very clearly to be ready for a fight. They heard him say to go out and buy swords.

” But now one who has a money bag should take it,
and likewise a sack, 
and one who does not have a sword
should sell his cloak and buy one.
For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me,
namely, He was counted among the wicked;
and indeed what is written about me is coming to fulfillment.”

Luke 22:36-37

There were a few swords at hand. “Should we take these?” Jesus says it’s enough. They didn’t need to buy swords after all.

Then they said,
“Lord, look, there are two swords here.”
But he replied, “It is enough!”

Luke 22:38

So the apostles head out to the Garden with Jesus, swords in hand. A group of armed men arrives. One apostle asks if he should use the sword now? Another just takes the initiative. Off goes a servant’s ear.

And one of them struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear.

His disciples realized what was about to happen, and they asked, 
“Lord, shall we strike with a sword?”
And one of them struck the high priest’s servant
and cut off his right ear.
But Jesus said in reply,
“Stop, no more of this!”

Luke 22:49-51

“Stop!” – Jesus commands. “No more of this.”

Where did the ear-lopping apostle go wrong? What did he misunderstand?

Discernment can be so hard. What seemed so clear to us an hour ago turns out to be not what God wanted at all. Things go all wrong, and we hurt ourselves and others.

The challenge of discernment is that it’s a continuous thing. Every moment is different from the one before. We have to take new people and situations into consideration all the time.

And we have to constantly turn to Jesus for guidance. We have to follow the example of the apostle who paused to ask, “Now, Jesus?”

We can’t just rush into situations, ready to lop off ears in the name of Jesus.

Discernment is not a one time thing. It’s an ongoing challenge that requires continuous prayer and deliberation.

  • What are you discerning today?
  • How can you take time to pause and pray, and let Jesus in before you act rashly?
  • How can you let his word grow and take shape in your heart until your course of action is clear?

Take time to discern, prudently, what the Lord is asking of you.

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great post

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