More Reflections on the Passion


from On the Passion of Christ According to the Four Evangelists
"On the shameful arrest and leading away of the Lord Jesus"
Thomas á Kempis

Lord Jesus Christ, Hope of the saints and Tower of strength in every tribulation, I bless and thank you for undergoing so violent an arrest by hateful enemies, for the arrogant laying of sacrilegious hangs on you by those sent to arrest you, and for the brutal looks and menacing shouts of those carrying arms against you. I bless and thank you for your harsh and cruel binding, for your rough and ruthless detention, for your painful pummeling, and for your being so abruptly dragged away. Amid all this tumult, while you were being rushed to your death by mean-spirited and worthless villains, your dear disciples, who had deserted you, looked upon you from a distance with great sorrow.

(book available from Ignatius press)

I was particularly affected by the last line, for I am among those disciples who look upon Him from a distance with great sorrow. I set myself at a distance through my own faults, choices, and sinfulness. And yet, the look that crosses that great distance from the eyes of the Savior himself is not one of condemnation, not one that says, "See what you did to me." Rather it is a look of love that says, "See what I can do for you. Come with me."

And so in Lent we journey with Him. But afterwards, too seldom do we bring to mind the great love that redeems us. Too infrequently do we pause to consider what God has wrought in so marvelous and completely loving a savior. At a word the entire realm of heaven could have rushed down to crush the oppressors. But God stayed His hand, accepting in His human body the pains and suffering we inflict on ourselves and each other in our sinfulness.

Praise the look of love that does not condemn, but speaks new life, "See what I can do for you."

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on March 5, 2004 8:14 AM.

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