Sunday, April 2nd
Is 50: 4-7
Ps 22: 8-9, 17-20, 23-24
Phil 2: 6-11
Mt 26: 14-27: 66
“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
Today we enter into what is simultaneously the most powerful and most mysterious of Christian realities. Why did Jesus have to die? Why do we have to suffer? Why is suffering even a thing? And what does the “will of God” have to do with any of it? Does God will suffering? I can’t pretend to fully answer these wrenching questions, but I do have a few thoughts. While God doesn’t “will” suffering, it is in fact a painful part of human experience. Suffering can arise from human sinfulness, but it also comes for no apparent reason – weather disasters, genetic anomalies, serious disease, and the like. No one – not even the Just One – escapes it. This can easily lead to estrangement from the One who longs to accompany us even – and perhaps especially – in our pain. Jesus lived in deep awareness of being loved by a God whose values he strove to bring to birth in a world that did not – and still does not – want them. He died out of love for those values, but even more he died out of love for the Abba-God from whom they came. Jesus’ suffering teaches us that it is love that makes suffering bearable. It is love that eventually transforms our pain and death into new life.
Jesus, lead me in ways of wisdom. Help me to not be afraid of bringing my fear and suffering to you. I trust in your transforming love so that God’s will is done in me and in our world.
As I enter into the mystery of this pain-filled week,
how am I being called to embrace God’s will as an act of love?
Sister Christine Schenk, CSJ