April 3, 2010

Jesus I Adore You

Good Friday
April 2, 2010
John 18:1 – 19:42 “They will look upon him whom they have pierced.”

"Sorrow can lead us into one of four lands. The barren land in which we try to escape from it. The broken land in which we sink under it. The bitter land in which we resent it. Or the better land in which we bear it and become a blessing to others."

We do have our own experience of sorrow and suffering in our lives. And when they come, our life turns upside down and we start doubting the love of God. But they are parts and parcels of our lives. It haunts and challenges our faith and we can easily identify ourselves with Jesus when he cried out loud, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

My father died seven years ago. It was one of my most painful moments of my life. How could I forget that moment when I suddenly doubted God’s love when my father had a major heart stroke? One night while I was looking at my father terribly suffering in the hospital, I remember blaming God, “I gave up everything to serve you, how come you are not helping us?” The pain of being abandoned and bitterness started creeping into my heart. I cried and blamed God. But suddenly, I found myself softly singing a line from an old worship song: “Holy darkness, blessed night, Heaven’s answer hidden from our sight. As we wait for the God of silence, we embrace this holy night.” That hit me. I realized that God was asking me to trust him more when I am in darkness, for faith is tested when one faces his/her own sorrow and pain.

Good Friday is a day of looking at Jesus whom we have pierced on the cross. It’s ironic and inconceivable that when we look at Jesus hanging on the cross, we gain strength and consolation. Jesus wants us to follow his example by embracing our cross. He does not want us to escape, or be bitter, or sink in our sufferings. He wants us to faithfully carry our cross, find its meaning and be the source of inspiration to others.

We admire people who gallantly carried their own crosses. They suffered a lot, but their determination and unwavering courage in the midst of their pain, persecution, and humiliation give us strength to face our own.
A friend of mine died of cancer two years ago. But I admired how she willingly accepted her fate and surrendered her life to God. She suffered terribly but she died in peace. The cancer did not to stop her from loving God. She found the meaning of her suffering. We have our share of suffering but we missed the meaning, because we dwelled too much in our own bitterness and sorrow and failed to transcend them.

The death of Jesus is not a sign of scandal, shame or defeat. It is the ultimate sign of Jesus’ total surrender to the Father’s will.
Jesus persevered in his suffering out of his great love for us, and he gained salvation for us. He knew the meaning of his cross and he gladly carried it.

Let’s not allow our tears blind us from finding the meaning of our suffering. Look up intently on the cross. The meaning of your suffering rests in the crucified Jesus. And you would know why Jesus willingly said, “Into your hands, I commend my spirit.”

“There is no Christian holiness without devotion to the Passion” – John Paul II

- Fr.Willy M. Samson,SJ / Blessed Sacrament Parish, Hollywood / April 2, 2010

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