I wish I knew how to make you happy. I don’t know how because your happiness is personal. Like all people, happiness is a once-in-a-while thing. I can however, promise you satisfaction. One can experience even sadness and still find comfort in the hope that all things have a purpose – from God’s point of view.
Even if someone slips and falls – to use a metaphor easily understood this time of year – one can always get back up again.
Taken from the long point of view and looking backwards, one can take satisfaction that one did the best they could under the circumstances. Looking back, we all got this far in life. Even though life can be unfair, survival counts for everything. That’s why older people advise younger people not to give up.
In the gospel, Jesus struggles to describe the kingdom of God. He can’t make the crowds understand. In the beginning of his ministry, large crowds followed Jesus. They liked his message about the kingdom being here and now.
But, as the gospel of Mark continues, at the end of the gospel, not one of his followers is with him. All have run away. Even some women who used to follow him, look on from a distance as he is dying. The gospel of John only the Mother of Jesus and the Disciple whom he loved are at the cross. Based only on the surface, one would have to say that Jesus’ mission was a failure.
We know, some 2000 years later that it was a triumph, not a failure. But then we have the advantage of 20 centuries of faithful followers.
At the end of the gospel selection today, the author tells us that Jesus explained everything in private to his disciples. We are not told what he said. It was enough for a while, but even they did run away at the end.
It is good to have dreams and expectations. But also realize those are the easy parts. We also need patience, trust, hope and above all love. Or we, too, will run away. Don’t. Things may or may not work out according to our expectations. But the seeds have been planted and slowly will come to pass. Even now, under the snow and ice, there is green grass and flowers waiting to come forth. Winter doesn’t last forever.