The cross is not merely Christ’s passion, Volf writes, but it is God’s passion. It reveals the total self-giving love of God that reaches out to estranged humanity and embraces every stranger as the beloved. In the cross we are embraced by the Trinity of love, who loves us with the same love with which the persons of the Trinity love one another. The crucified Christ signifies a space in God’s self for the other and an invitation for the enemy to come in.
— Delia, Ilia. The Emergent Christ. Orbis Books. Kindle Edition. (1120-1124)
Note: Volf is Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation.
The whole of Jesus’ life is an unfolding towards fullness of life. So even at this stage of his life, as he invites us to stay with him, he has something to reveal to us about life.
But to come to sense how this unfolding is taking place in Jesus, even at this stage as he goes though his passion and death, it is absolutely essential that we do not place ourselves on the road to Calvary as roadside watchers of a drama that is happening.
We need to reach intimately into his heart, to sense what is happening in Jesus’ heart as he is going through all of this. For ultimately what makes a difference to life is not what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens to us. And this is only known from within the depth of one’s heart.
— Fr. Cecil Azzopardi, SJ, Ignatian Immersion Retreat, May 2013, Manresa
Here I am, ready (can I ever be ready enough?) to walk with Jesus this week all the way to the Golgotha, with his mother, his friends, and his enemies. I hope some day to love him so much that I will indeed be able ‘to reach intimately into his heart’, to understand how he did all of this.
I imagine his love for and his trust in Godde stronger than the pressure of the society around him or the fear of his friends for him.
He had to die, said Caiaphas, not only for the nation, “but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.” And gather, Jesus did, or Christ rather, in a way Caiaphas could never have imagined.
Walking with Jesus this week will be a privilege. All I can do is stand by him as he goes through all that is awaiting him. I might enter the mystery of his death and then maybe not. Most of all, I feel I owe him to be with him, to be there for him, while giving him the best my heart and mind have to offer.
May the Spirit accompany each one of us on our journey to Jerusalem.
Photo: Cristo de la Sonrisa, Javier, Spain