Monday, November 16, 2009

Reflections on the Crucifixion

Dying on a cross isn't exactly a "joyful" situation. Christ, in his suffering and death, must not have experienced the kind of happiness that we all seek in our lives: comforts, contentment, fulfillment, a euphoric feeling (however fleeting)- the list of adjectives could go on. Jesus' human nature was screaming out against the crucifixion- against the pain, suffering, humiliation, and ultimately, death. But- we ask ourselves- what was it all for?

For us.

For every sinner who has ever lived and will ever live. For the redemption of the human race, of us, the adopted sons and daughters of God the Father, Jesus' own brothers and sisters- so that what was broken could be made whole again and so that we could have life and have it abundantly.

So he resigned himself, willingly, to death, so that we might have eternal life. For God so loved the world, John tells us, that He gave His only beloved son. Love. Doesn't it always come back to love? We are created to love, called to love, to be perfect in love, and to die in love. Jesus wasn't happy or joyful in the eyes of the world. But how must he have felt to know that it was for us, who he loved so very much? He loved us to the end.

Similarly, our lives aren't always pleasant, fun, comfortable, and we may not always feel happy. But, we ask ourselves, if our God was able to suffer and die for us, how should we approach the trials of our own lives? Not necessarily jumping for joy, but with a deep contentment that comes from a total acceptance of God's will. Would that we, like Mary, could say, "Thy will be done," and accept, like the Blessed Mother, all the things that God asks from us, as she accepted the death of her only son. Because, really, this life, this confusing and often painful life, doesn't last forever. Christ lay in the tomb for three days before his resurrection and Mary never lost hope. We must never despair and always hope in Christ, and keep our eyes on our resurrection and our heavenly home where we, God willing, will be truly, deeply, and completely happy.