The man who lived and died by Jesus’ words in the Gospel for Lent 2 (25 February)

Today’s Gospel passage is from St Mark Chapter 8: 31-38

Theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer died almost 79 years ago. He was the epitome of selflessness and a good role model for people today. Bonhoeffer, who stood up against Hitler and all the evil he represented, was executed at Flossenberg concentration camp only weeks before the Allies liberated the camp. Bonhoeffer risked, and ultimately lost, his life because he not only had the courage to speak out against the mass murder of the Jews under the direction of Hitler, but also because he worked to stop Hitler.

Bonhoeffer could have remained safely in the United States when the Nazis took over Germany prior to World War II. Bonhoeffer felt that God led his path back to Germany to fight evil, even though he knew it might well mean losing his life. Bonhoeffer was only 39 when he was executed April 9, 1945. He still lives as a role model for us all. I have visited Flossenberg concentration camp where he died, and also Dachau where there is an amazing ecumenical chapel built in his memory.

A prayer by Dietrich Bonhoeffer from his book, The Cost of Discipleship:

“I cannot do this aloneO God, early in the morning I cry to you.Help me to prayAnd to concentrate my thoughts on you. I cannot do this alone.In me there is darkness,But with you there is light.I am lonely, but you do not leave me.I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help.I am restless, but with you there is peace.In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience.I do not understand your ways,But you know the way for me.Restore me to liberty,And enable me to live nowThat I may answer before you and before men.

Lord whatever this day may bring,Your name be praised.Amen”