ladyofthemoor (ladyofthemoor) wrote,

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First Sunday of Lent, Mark.2:18-22, Butterflies

The text that I have read today is Mark 2:18-22. In the story people go to Jesus to ask him why the disciples of John and the Pharisees fast, and his disciples do not fast. Jesus then looks forward to his coming death and departing, and compares himself and the disciples with a bridegroom and his groomsmen. While the groomsmen are together with the bridegroom they cannot not fast. This is how it is with Jesus and his disciples. As long as Jesus is among them they do not fast and when he is gone, they will fast again. For at that time, there is no reason not to fast, because with the dead of Jesus this happy and extraordinary circumstance is gone.

This story makes me wonder what it means for the disciples to have Jesus among them. I have pulled the Tarot of Jane Austen made by  chelsearoadout of my little bag with tarot-deck-titles to pick a card from as an answer to this question. I received Two of Teacups (Two of Cups). 


The card shows that the disciples love having Jesus in their midst. The two people on this card are Catherine Morland and Henry Tilney from the book Northanger Abbey. At the end of the book they become a couple and plan to marry (Ten of Teacups), but here they have just met. They adore each other, but do not really know each other yet. They have no inkling of the flaws of the other one and, the habits that are not so nice, or the differences in interests. At this time it is all happiness and expectation. It is the tantalizing stage, “the initial sizzle”, as Diane Wilkes says, but “not the steak”. It is the beginning of a love-relationship. This is what it means for the disciples to have Jesus in their midst: they are attracted to Jesus, they are falling in love.

Catherine, who is young and not world-wise, loves from the start being taught by Henry, who is much older and knows the ways of the world. The disciples want to learn as well, Jesus is their teacher and they can learn from him as long as Jesus is in their midst. That is also what it means to the disciples to have Jesus in their midst. They are able to learn from him, and they enjoy that.

So, it is all happy new love for the disciples. Just as in a new relationship when you do not know the other yet and only feel butterflies, the disciples do not see what is coming, what it really means to follow Jesus and his teachings. They focus on an idealized future in which Jesus performs miracles and probably becomes king. We as readers know what will come, what rough and dark road Jesus will walk, but the disciples do not know this. They are not aware of the impact this rough road of Jesus will have on their lives.  

The number of the this card is two, a number of balance. The card warns to keep your head together, to stay balanced, listen not only to the sizzle and the butterflies. The disciples enjoy and learn, but they also need to get their wits together; they need to know what they are doing and where they are heading for. Not-fasting is a way to let that sink in, at least, it is meant to do that.

Schedule of texts: Dienstboek, Zoetermeer, 1998.
Tags: lent 2007, mark, religious question, tarot of jane austen, two of cups

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