By: Father Paul Wierichs, C.P.
This week, all over the world, Christians will be celebrating the great mystery of Christ love for us. “Greater love no man has than to lay down his life for his friends.” This is the week Christ lived out the truth of these words. He took on himself our sins and sins of all the world.
The final act in the drama of Jesus has come. The Son of Man must suffer many things. In his account of the passion, Mark stresses the cruel trial and shocking details of Jesus’ suffering. He has Jesus die in total isolation – deserted by his disciples, taunted by his enemies, derided by those who hung with him, and, worst of all, abandoned by God.
When you think of the Passion of Jesus and the Gospel that we just heard, it doesn’t make any sense. I have been praying over the words from 1 Cor 1:25 ” The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” Many times when we think of the Passion of Jesus we think in terms of the Gospel story that we just heard or we think of the Stations of the Cross and we put it in the past tense never thinking that the Passion of Jesus is today live and relevant.
Much of our lives are determined more by what is done to us then by what we do: in a very real sense this is our passion. It is this passion, if we can generally accepted, as well as our actions, that leads to salvation. I’m sure that we all realize the extent to which we are acted upon. As children we are at the mercy of adults. As we move through life there is fate, betrayal, bad-luck, illness of one kind or another, lost of friendships, failure in relationships, disappointments with spouses and children, the death of loved ones, the drudgery of the workplace, and so on.
Of course thankfully there are joyful moments and periods of peace too. But the reality is that there are many things which are outside our control. The Passion story shows how Jesus responded to what was done to him. He absorbed all the violence, transformed, and returned it as love and forgiveness. There was nothing but love in Jesus. Even when they crucified him he was loving.
Maybe this can help us when we are going through hard times.