Tag: Holy Cross

This is My Body broken for you – Good Friday of the Passion of Our Lord

Today is Good Friday (for another 40 minutes anyway, as I’m so late posting!).

Today we remember Our Lord Jesus’s suffering and death and begin the watching and waiting with Him – in His prayer in Gesthemane, in His arrest, scourging, crowning with thorns, trial, carrying the Cross, crucifixion, death and burial. At the Cross and at the tomb we wait and watch with Mary his Mother and the disciples.

Today tells us Love came down to us. Our Jesus suffers with us and we with Him. He too cried out in desperation, feeling forsaken. He too wept. He too hurt and bled. Today tells us that in the hardest and darkest times when everything seems lost, everything covered in darkness, everything of you poured out – in that very moment love can still be at work and hope, though yet unseen, can be falling to the earth. At the Cross, all seemed lost, all seemed hopeless, in terrible pain Jesus our hope – died. Yet in that moment His love is poured out and His saving work accomplished.

We wait. We kneel with Mary, watching and waiting. Hope is hidden. Our Lord is in the tomb.  Yes, we wait.  We trust. Today tells us, even in this darkness, even in despair, hold on, because you are beloved of God, and nothing is lost. Love and hope fell to the earth and was hidden – but then love arose! We wait in sure and certain hope of the resurrection on Easter morning and when Jesus is lifted up He calls us to Himself.

When we see so much suffering as there is throughout the world right now, when we are struggling with our own pain, when darkness covers everything for us, we don’t know how to respond. It can seem so huge our efforts seem to be of little worth. Perhaps first, part of holding on is learning to wait, and kneel, not in a passive waiting, but in certain hope that though we cannot yet see it, through our time of darkness, love is at work.

We are never alone. We the church are the Body of Christ. As He suffered so do we. At times He draws us closer to His Cross. Just as He is fully present with us and fully sharing every moment of our lives, so He gives us an active part in His Father’s saving plan. In His suffering on the Cross His love poured out and so in the suffering we – His Body – go through,  so His love also pours out. We cannot see the way out of the darkness but we can be sure love is at work and love has won the victory.

“I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and noone will take your joy from you.” John 16 v 22

“I will not abandon you”

“Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you,” says the Lord God (Isaiah 49 v 15)

These lines from the Bible came into my head just now. Thank you Jesus. It’s very hard to hang onto anything when everything I trusted in, so much – too much – seems to be taken away. The Lord alone suffices, St Teresa of Avila wrote. The Lord alone will never forget us and never fail us, even if His face is hidden from us for a little while. He loves us like a mother or a father, and more.

“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” (Psalm 27). When everything else crumbles, when we are totally alone, still God who is love remains. One translation of the Aramaic actually says “Because my father and mother forsake me,”; “because” rather than “when”. The Lord knew we would be abandoned, and so, He never leaves us and He takes us up in His arms.

I struggle very much to pray when I feel as I do now. The hurt and obstacles and anger and frustration and alone-ness, all obscure my hope in God and too quickly I allow them to cloud who God is and who He created us to be. If all I run into is this pain, He must be angry, He must wish me punished, He must take pleasure in my pain. I must return to His Cross and return to listen to His Word in the Bible. This is God, not my pain of itself. Love surely brings pain, but it is not the pain and hurt and isolation itself.

And then in prayer, came my Jesus’s tender promise – “My gaze is longing love.”