Jesus' Passion in Our Lives
By Fr. Robert J. Carr
©Catholic Online 2005
When we look at Jesus' Passion we need to remember that not only is Jesus crucified; he is doing so to defeat those spiritual forces that seek our destruction. Therefore, he knows everything he is doing. Remember, he chose his suffering and death that all might be freed from death. If he did not choose to do so, then our motto would be eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we may spend eternity in hell. Jesus is in full control of his faculties and knows exactly what he is doing, despite appearances to the contrary.
However, the Apostles have not grasped this. They feel everything is now out of control, their world is coming to an end. They are in the grip of fear and shock. The Pharisees, also unaware of this, feel they are in total control and their actions are going to be a great success. They have succumbed to pride and spiritual blindness. Meanwhile, we know in hindsight that only Jesus is in charge of this situation.
This is the spiritual mindset. This is the spiritual way of thinking one that trusts God fully even in the most out of control situations. However, the human mindset is most like Peter's. It is really in hindsight that we learn that God was in control all the time. This is why we can look back at this situation and know that Jesus was choosing this avenue, yet, if we were in it directly, we would not think that way.
When we are caught in a traumatic situation or one that is out of control we can find ourselves asking where is God. It is only in hindsight that we can look at how little was our faith. Other times we look back and realize we will need more faith to understand a particularly painful situation. However, in every avenue, we must remember that God is present, that we are not in an out of control situation and that the more we walk in faith, the more we trust in Christ, the more we remain fully focused on Christ even when others do not. The more we are focused on Christ, the more we can see any incident as the road to salvation.
True tragedy arises when we have no faith and trauma has no meaning. It is a horrible thing when we are without faith. We are unable to see our suffering or even our toil and work within the context of the bigger picture. Yet, in our faith, we are able to see at least a part of the bigger picture. We are then able to see even the most painful of situation in some way within that picture.
The saints remind us that all is grace. Our faith comforts us when we understand this. A lost job, a failing grade at school, a difficult time in a marriage, a life threatening illness, a death all can be seen within the context of a faith that reminds us that God is alive that he is charge. That this painful situation will always end positively if we focus on his grace in our lives. That is because, it is God's grace that transforms us to see his presence in every situation.
The lost job causes a positive change in way of life, when the focus is on Christ; a failing grade in school teaches us how to live within our own shortcomings when the focus is on Christ. The list goes on. Death itself is always seen within the context of eternal life when the focus in on Christ.
You and I are beginning a week of highs and lows based in one reality, the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus' actions took away death's sting. Life is now eternal. This is the message of Holy Week. What a tragedy it is for those who have no faith and therefore are incapable of hearing this message. May we be always grateful for the gift of faith Christ gives us that allow us to celebrate this week, even if we are in the midst of trauma.
http://www.catholicismanew.org MA, US
Fr. Robert J. Carr - Parochial Vicar, 617 542-5682
Holy Week, Passion
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