Day 39: It Doesn’t Matter With Me Now

It Doesn't Matter With Me Now

BY FR. JOSHUA PETERS, S.J. | April 1, 2023
Today’s Readings

I first encountered the Lorraine Motel on a pilgrimage from New Orleans to Chicago. Memphis, Tennessee, is a city rich in history and ripe with tales as gritty and graceful as its famed blues and barbecue. As I stood in proximity to Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel, I was on holy ground. A man, who represented simultaneous hope and threat to a nation, bled out on that threshold.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was a very human being. He smoked cigarettes and struggled with marital infidelity. In the hour before he was gunned down, he was engaged in a brotherly pillow fight with several of his associates as they joked around waiting for dinner. The simplicity and grandeur of this man swirled around me as I prayed in that sacred space.It Doesn't Matter With Me NowPilgrimage takes us to places we need to go—physically, spiritually, and emotionally. These Lenten days have us on pilgrimage with Jesus. Yesterday, Jesus was in Jerusalem, only to flee across the Jordan to avoid arrest and execution. Next, he travels to Bethany and raises Lazarus from the dead. Many begin to believe in Jesus’ power, yet authorities want him dead for imperiling the nation. Tomorrow, despite the tension, we celebrate Palm Sunday. As we accompany Jesus, pay attention to what it means to stand near this loved and hated anointed one.

The night before he was murdered, Martin Luther King, Jr., described the experience of being a marked man and proclaimed that, “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now.” He famously declared, “I’ve been to the mountaintop.” King knew what the family of Tyre Nichols and all of Memphis knows: that violence propagates chaos. King prophesied about the mountaintop because he knew there is another way. Jesus is returning to Jerusalem to imbue calm into the chaos. Will we stand in proximity to him?

For Reflection

  • What peaceful practices have you developed to avoid being overcome by despair and chaos?
  • As you journey with Jesus, what is God inviting you to consider today?
8 replies
  1. Gina Shes
    Gina Shes says:

    Since February last year when Russia invaded the Ukraine, our contemplative prayer group
    committed to stopping at 3 pm each day to say an intentional prayer for peace. We asked others to join us so that our collective consciousness can transform us, putting us in the mind of Christ. We have spread the word to other faith communities who welcome this o opportunity to commit to peace the only way we can.
    We found a young middle school student who is making and selling beaded bracelets I. Her Dads store donating the monies to the Ukrainians. I’ve bought several of these for over a year, handing them out as I ask folks to join us in our collective prayer, no none has refused so far! There is so much need for peace all over the world, right in our own neighborhoods, we need to start with ourselves.

  2. Elsie C Romano
    Elsie C Romano says:

    This IS a tough one, because despair seems to be the natural reaction for me. I try to lean into the small acts of kindness that I am capable of, knowing those will help at least the recipients. It can be bringing a meal to a family who is suffering the imminent death of a family member, inviting a person to share my intimate thoughts, hosting newcomers to the community, simply smiling at a stranger. Everyday encounters calm my mind and bring me peace.

  3. Sue Runne
    Sue Runne says:

    The last few years between the state of affairs in our country including racism, covid, my local parish closing, seeing the schism in the Catholic church play a role in what is happening, I am having trouble seeing the mountaintop. I know God is there for me but I am struggling with my end. I have a fortunate life with a roof over my head, food on my table and I am white. I do my best to stay connected to my community and reach out to marginalized people because history and God teaches us this is important. I thank God for my Catholic roots because they keep my head above water.

  4. sonja
    sonja says:

    Cutting out all forms of media is the best way to stay connected to God and appreciate that He is there for us no matter what.

  5. Lisa Dennison
    Lisa Dennison says:

    Thanks for this lovely and thought-provoking reflection! It was great to meet you at the Jesuit Anti-Racism weekend in January!

  6. Sister Odessa Stanford, SFCC
    Sister Odessa Stanford, SFCC says:

    Good day Fr. Josh:
    It’s the journey and how we recognize Jesus and the pilgrimage of life as “the way.” Great reflection, Sister Odessa


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