Reflection for the 30 Sunday of Ordinary time, week beginning 24 October 2021.
These past 20 months of the pandemic have brought considerable suffering to many, and on so many different levels: sickness; loneliness; death; hospitalisation; families’ bereavement; redundancy – to name but a short few. The absolute reality or truism is that we can only even begin to make sense of it through the Cross of Jesus Christ. The Cross, what preceded it, and Jesus’ journey to Mount Calvary, are set in front of us in the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. (These are appointed for our prayerful reflection for Tuesdays & Fridays, and especially in this month of the Rosary). Whilst in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus had to endure the worst of agonies. He knew the most horrendous of deaths faced him the day following the evening of the Last Supper. His sweat fell from his face like great drops of blood. He asked God the Father if such a death could pass him by but came to the conviction that was expressed as “not my will, but thine be done”. In his scourging, he had to withstand 39 lashes from whips. This 2nd Sorrowful Mystery is generally interpreted as his scourging having to be undergone, so as to make restitution to God the Father for humankind’s many sins of impurity. His crowning with thorns points to his claim to kingship being utterly demeaned, derided and dismissed by men of low or no spiritual insight. The carrying of his Cross to the summit of Mount Calvary is marked by his indomitable courage in struggling to his feet after only-to-be-expected falls, under its oppressive weight. In his crucifixion and death, we witness the barbarity of the nails upon his hands and feet. We witness his side being pierced shortly after he had expired – blood and water duly flowing out. The Sorrowful Mysteries demonstrate the greatest-ever example of SACRIFICE – the word being from 2 Latin words – ‘sacrum’ and ‘facere’ – together meaning “to make sacred”, “to make holy”. Let us ask ourselves: “What will we sacrifice for Jesus, as our loving ‘THANK YOU” to him, for all he sacrificed for us?”