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Monday, March 29, 2021
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
Many of us experience a form of “rescue” mentality at times in our lives. When we encounter a loved one in some form of distress, we wish to remove the challenge from them. How many who are parents of sick children pray that their child be healthy and they themselves bear the suffering?
In the letter to the Hebrews, it is written: “In the days when he was in the flesh, he (Jesus) offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence” Hebrews 5:7. We all recall the desperation of the cross and the words of Psalm 22 on the lips of our suffering Lord: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” We hear the shouts from the foot of the cross: “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself by coming down from the cross….the chief priests, with the scribes, mocked him among themselves and said, “He saved others; he cannot save himself…Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe” Mark 15:29-32. If as the letter to the Hebrews state: “he was heard because of His reverence,” how is that so if he wasn’t rescued at that moment of death? I’m sure these are reasonable questions we all have had at some time. Why didn’t God jump down from heaven and take Him off the cross in a show of power and might?
The answer come later in the passage from Hebrews. “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, declared by God high priest according to the order of Melchizedek” Hebrews 5:8-10.
It was necessary for the mortal nature of Jesus to experience our mortal death. It was necessary for His Spirit to descend into the realm of the dead to free those awaiting salvation. It was necessary for Him to be raised from the dead to redeem us all. The glory of the resurrection of Jesus is not that God comes to rescue Him, but that God redeems us all by His suffering, death and resurrection. The resurrection gives us the assurance that God will never abandon us in our suffering as well. Now even our own experiences of suffering can have meaning for like Him, we can die to our own desires and offer our sufferings in the spirit of our common priesthood of the faithful, for the redemption and intercession of others.
Thank you, Eternal Father, for sending your only begotten Son to freely die for our salvation and redemption. Jesus sacrificed His life for you and me so that we might sacrifice ourselves for others. Thank You Eternal Father for proving your love for us in Your Son by His suffering, death, and resurrection. Alleluia is indeed our song! He is risen from the dead. We rise with Him to glory. Amen!