Lent - Holy Week
“Going a little further, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 'Abba, Father,' he said, 'everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.'" – Mark 14:35-36
It was the night before his death. Jesus knew that his time had come. After three years of ministry - after thirty years of revealing God's love - it was time for Jesus to reveal the fullness of his love. The one who was in very nature Creator, humbled himself and became one with creation. He was born to an impoverished couple in Bethlehem with a manger for his bed. His first years of life were spent in exile as a political refugee in Egypt. His final days were in Jerusalem. On Maundy Thursday, Jesus blessed his disciples in the Upper Room and loved them - even when one would betray him, one would deny him, and the rest would desert him. Later that night, Jesus allowed himself to be arrested, mocked, beaten, and humiliated by the religious rulers. On Friday morning, Jesus allowed himself to be tried, condemned, and crucified by the Romans. The hands that offered healed were pierced by thick nails. That afternoon, the One who embraced the untouchable, welcomed the outcast, and ate with sinners, died the death of a common criminal. Did Jesus have the power to stop the suffering? Yes. Was Jesus tempted to forego the pain? Yes. However, Jesus loved us to the end. He chose love over fear. He chose life over death. He chose the cross so that we might receive forgiveness, freedom, and new life. As we walk this final week with Christ, let us remember his love and imitate his humility. In the words of Pope Francis, let us "renew our faith, draw from the living waters of hope, and receive with open arms the love of God."