Going Through Jesus' Passion and Death

As the exercises move along, we pray our way through evolving relationships with Jesus. At first, we stand as sinner to our Savior. Then as we pray on Jesus' public life, we become a disciple to our Master. Now Jesus wants no longer to call us “servants;” He invites us to walk as a friend through our Friend's last days.

Sometimes, in earlier prayer, we rested in the wonderful realities emanating from God our Creator and Lord. Sometimes, we rested in the wonderful things that Jesus of Nazareth did, and in the beautiful relationships between our Lord and His friends. In this week, we are likely to find no place to rest except in Jesus Himself.

The frame of prayer, contemplating and meditating, continues the same. We might have some difficulty with the amount of material, the number of details, the way events rush along. The earliest disciples wrote down first of all the details of His Passion and Death, wanting to forget nothing.

These events and details, however, are far from commonplace. We need to attend to three things, possibly turning to them deliberately during each prayer time, or allowing them to throw light on each event in the Passion.

First: I watch how Jesus suffered in His humanness, and how He desired to suffer. With great reverence.  I wonder: What did He think here? How did this affect His sensibility? Whose unfaithfulness stung Him deepest? And, I am amazed that He "desired" to suffer all this ? in the sense that He could have retreated into His divinity, but did not. He really felt every prick of His skin; He really endured every insult and betrayal; He actually had to have faith and hope in God.

Second: I consider  how many ways Jesus disguised His true being, His divinity.

Third: I beg God to teach me, deep in my sensibility, that Jesus Christ suffered all this for me. And I beg God to help me accept what I ought to do ... and to suffer for Jesus in my turn.

Keep in mind that we enter into Jesus' helplessness ... and, we enter into it really, because we are helpless ourselves. He made Himself truly helpless; He would allow nothing and no one to snatch Him from the jaws of death.

These weeks are a deathwatch. Death watches tax us, arduously. The Lord God will determine how you go through it. Trust Him.