During the Lenten Season we are again invited to accompany Jesus on his way to Jerusalem, to the Cross, and then on to the Resurrection. We can again read the accounts of this in the Four Gospels. We can again pay close attention to what Jesus says, what he does, how he meets each challenge, and treats those who would crucify him. Despite all the danger and all the opposition, Jesus keeps on keeping on, demonstrating the way of compassion. He continues to teach and to heal. He continues to bring hope, showing signs of God’s Kingdom come. Jesus keeps his focus, determined to be true to his calling, faithful to his mission, no matter the consequences.
Then while suffering death on the Cross, he continues to show compassion for others, for his mother, for the thief, praying forgiveness for those crucifying him. And then he prays to his Father, “Into Your hands I commend my spirit.”
And thanks be to God, death is not the end. God brings life out of death, hope out of despair. The Resurrection shows us that nothing, not even death, can separate us from God’s love. God’s love prevails!
On our Lenten Journey we continually marvel at such a life and such a witness! We affirm that the crucified Jesus and the Risen Christ reveal God. We call Jesus, the Christ, “Emmanuel,” God-with-us, revealing God’s heart, God’s nature. As Richard Rohr puts it in A Spring Within Us, “Jesus was desperately trying to change our mind about God” so that we would know God as a Compassionate Presence, a Loving Father, calling us into a loving relationship with God and with one another.
Have we let Jesus, the Christ, transform our understanding of God? Do we now, at last, see that God is that loving, that forgiving, that self-giving, that life-giving?
Again, as Richard Rohr writes, “Do we see Jesus, crucified and resurrected, is the whole pattern revealed, named, affected, and promised for our own lives?”
There is so much to ponder on our Lenten Journey, 2018!
(Quotes are from Richard Rohr’s book, A Spring Within Us—A Book of Daily Meditations.)