“My God, my God why have you abandoned me.”
Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, Luke 22:14-23:56
by Sister Jane Hibbard, SNJM
In these days of Lent we have been preparing for this week that contains
our most holy days, our most holy mysteries, the invitation to live out our lives with Christ Jesus. How can we be fully present to this week? Will we take some time to be silent before the mystery of the cross?
Palm Sunday begins with glad hosannas to Jesus and continues with the first reading of the Passion. It is a week that invites silence and reflection. Beginning to comprehend the gift of the crucifixion is our work for a lifetime. We have a savior who walked right into his suffering and death with the transparent: “Thy will be done.” And “I will suffer and die for the sins of all humankind.” It will take forever to even begin to understand the mercy and gracious love of our God.
Cardinal Basil Hume helps us understand: “If I look long enough at the figure of Christ dying on the cross, I begin to see that his passion and death had a purpose that is directly related to our own suffering. For the suffering that Jesus endured provides consolation and guidance in our greatest pain. As we look at the cross we should venerate it and embrace it in our prayer. It will slowly give up its secret, not suddenly but over the years and Christ’s suffering will lead us to new life.” (The Mystery of the Cross)
Suffering is a mystery. We are all called to bear suffering, some physical, some caused by simply being overwhelmed by all that life brings to us. We adore a crucified savior who taught us that suffering is possible. He invites us to be present and accept the inconvenience and suffering that comes with the human condition.
Karl Rahner, SJ, reflected in a Good Friday homily: “The world cannot evade God’s embrace in this moment, cannot escape God’s mercy.” If this is our reality, where have you responded to Christ’s great gift to you? How will you continue to respond?
We keep Christ crucified before us always so we will never forget, always be grateful, and live everyday more fully into the mystery of His death and Resurrection.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“What, dear sisters and brothers, is more delightful than this voice of the Lord calling to us? See how the Lord in His love shows us the way of life.” Prologue 19-20
“Christ became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name.” Philippians 2:8-9