Reading this long gospel story today, I somehow agree with those who feel that the best response to this long passion narrative is reflective silence. However, a short reflection might be useful to us today.
Today is the only day throughout the Catholic world that we don’t celebrate mass. We see tabernacles empty, altars bare, crosses covered, candles not lit and believers all over the world, wherever they are, stand at the foot of the cross of Jesus. Where do you and I stand? Like Mary, John and some women, do we stand at the foot of the cross silently observing and making our own, the effects of Jesus’ deeds in silence?
Jesus at the height of his passion put together in words all the frustrations, sufferings and pains of humanity, all struggles that we go through as men and women of faith:
“MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU ABANDONED ME”.
Truly, to a greater extent, this embodies the cry of each and everyone of us in times of crisis beyond our control. It embodies what we are feeling right now.
- No parties to attend this Easter.
- No hangouts to meet up with friends at the restaurants
- Offices are shuttered and things are falling apart,
- We cannot gather together and worship as we used to,
- When human beings are dying in thousands and hundreds everyday throughout the entire world.
- People are devastated and frustrated.
- People are saddened and hearts are broken.
Are we not crying daily to God? Are we not saying “Where is our God in whom we trust?
We all feel like we have been abandoned our God.
When we come face to face with trials, temptations and challenges beyond our control. Let us remember we have a God who loves us, a God who did not spare his Son for our sake. So, with all that is going on in our world today, I want to encourage each and everyone of you, wherever you are, that there is hope, there is light at the end of the tunnel. God has the final victory even when all seems lost and he will never abandon us half way through the journey. We have a God who is with us in every step of the way especially in the most difficult circumstances of life.
My brothers, my sisters, the cross is a symbol of suffering and pain, instrument of torture and defeat but it is also a symbol of victory, success and hope. Looking at the world today, sometimes we see sufferings all over. And we are often tempted towards discouragement and despair, fear and confusion but take courage and look at the cross of Jesus and reflect on the Triduum and you will have divine hope.
I invite you today to be strengthened that with the cross, which is symbol of victory, victory would be yours. With the cross we will get over the storm, this enemy of humanity confronting the entire world. May God continue to strengthen us with his love.