Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The Week of the Cross
It is worth noting that those who wrote the Gospels were not interested in stressing the physical pain that Jesus experienced in his passion and death. In Matthew's account of the Passion which we heard on Palm Sunday he handles the crucifixion in five words that are not the main sentence, "After they had crucified him".
Matthew and the other Gospel writers are more interested in the meaning of these events. The faithfulness of Jesus is contrasted with the betrayal of Judas and the denial of Peter. Jesus is faithful to the work that he came to do. He will not let a sword be used to save him nor will he call on armies of angels. Only Matthew gives the words to the second prayer Jesus says in the Garden: "My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done." In the same four words that he taught us to say in the Lord's Prayer, Jesus wants to bring his will in line with the Father's will, to want what God wants. The faithfulness of Jesus gives meaning to all that follows in the Passion. The same Jesus lives in us and can share with us his faithfulness and his willingness to do the Father's will in the face of whatever difficulty or suffering comes our way.