Thursday, March 29, 2012

It Is Finished.

What is finished? Many things:
The allotted extent of the life of Jesus on this earth;
The time that Jesus had to found His Church;
The plan of the Holy Trinity for undoing the harm done by our failings;
The amount of suffering that Jesus had to endure for our sins;
The using of the last ounce of His energy for us;
The giving of His mother into the hands of his best friend;
The giving of His Church into the care of His Mother;
The announcing of the Kingdom;
The teaching of His disciples all that they needed to know to carry on His work;
The fulfillment of the Scriptures concerning Him;
The appointing of His Vicar on earth;
The redemption of mankind.

During His lifetime Jesus spent Himself ceaselessly in preaching the love that God has for each one of us, and the fact that He thirsts for our love in return. He has now finished His part of that work and ours is continuing.

Jesus came to this world only to do one thing - the will of His Father. And He completed His mission.
What about us?
Have we taken enough time and effort to discern God’s will and to carry it out?

As the commemoration of the Passion of our Lord is approaching, let us ask for all the graces that come from His cross to do His will.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Thirst

A significant suffering of Jesus’ last hour was His thirst – after all, He was severely dehydrated. Recorded by only one evangelist the fact that He endured this torment needed to be told. He wanted to share it and He yearned for our personal response. Love for love; suffering for suffering.

The crucifix in the Chapel of
 the Missionaries of Charity, Semera
Jesus, our incarnate God, loves us with an infinite love, one that anticipates the fulfilment of perfect union with each one of us. In His desire for us to know and be aware of the extent of His love He wanted us to appreciate every aspect of His love’s outpouring.

This revelation of the depth of His yearning for the salvation of each and every soul so impressed Mother Teresa of Calcutta that she had His plea, "I thirst" inscribed on the chapel wall near the tabernacle of every one of her convents. This expression of total love beckons and challenges her sisters to reciprocate by inserting their fervent lives into this mystery of God’s longing.

And you?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My God, My God, Why Have You Abandoned Me?

Through her mystical experiences and dialogues with God, St. Catherine of Siena once exclaimed that God is a mad lover!  How so?  Most of us, if not all, would find it extremely difficult or even impossible at the thought of dying the way Jesus did for those who we love, not to mention those who trespassed against us.  Yet, the Lord of heaven and earth, who has no need of anyone or anything to make him happy, wondrously brought into existence this world that we live in and all it holds.  Out of his very loving mercy, God created men and women in his own image, to share in his happiness and dominion over all things that he has created.  Still, in our pride, we sinned and rebelled against our own Creator.  If our merciful God, who has “knitted us together in our mother’s womb,” truly abandoned us each time we sinned, we and the world would not be in existence to this day.  Scripture teaches us that God loves us so much that he sent his only begotten son in our human flesh to suffer and die for us, sinners that we are.  Thus, Jesus Christ, the faithful high priest, willingly took on our human nature, and gave himself up to be tested and suffered alongside with us, in every way except sin (Heb 2:17, 4:15).

In the commentary on the psalms, St. Augustine tells us that it was our humanity that was hung on the cross and Christ nailing our weakness to the cross cried out with the very voice of our humanity…God could give no greater gift to us than to make his Word our head and join us to him.  Therefore, our Lord Jesus Christ prays for us as our priest; he prays in us as our head, and he is the object of our prayers as our God. Suffering is an essential part of being human and Jesus did not hesitate to become a suffering servant for our sake, and “while we thought of him as stricken, struck down by God and afflicted…he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins.  Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole.  By his wounds we were healed.”  (Is. 53: 4-5).

Could there be any greater love? We have not a God who looks down on us from a distance after he created us, but a God who has gone through and knows our sufferings and can sympathize with us in our weaknesses and struggles.  If anyone of us is still not convinced of God’s merciful love, let us study the cross and let us go before the Blessed Sacrament, where we can visibly see and experience how madly in love with mankind our God is, who keeps his promise to be with us always, even until the end of time.  So through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, we, as contemplative nuns, gather together seven times a day on behalf of the Church and the people of God, to give praise to the Father of mercies and cry out with one voice for God’s grace upon the Church and all her children.  Deo Gratias!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Woman, behold, your son. Behold, your Mother.

Jesus is suffering the most extreme physical pains, having endured scourging, crowning with sharp thorns, the nailing of his hands and feet to the cross, and the gradual suffocation resulting from hanging in that torturous position. But his mind is still clear and active. He sees that, humanly speaking, his life has been a failure. He tried to gather the leaders of a new church but they have deserted him. He tried to win the people to follow his teaching, but they have turned against him and shouted for his death. Even his heavenly Father seems to be absent and unconcerned.

Yet, in spite of all this, he is caring about his Mother and his beloved disciple – AND about me. As the only Son of a widowed Mother, he is not willing to leave her alone in the world. And so he entrusts her to his closest friend. But he knows that this woman, whom he addresses in a formal way, is also the "new Eve", the mother of all the living. And therefore he can entrust his best friend and all his future disciples - including me - to her loving care.

Mary is the mother of the whole Christ, head and body. She accepted that office with gratitude and love, and is devoted to bringing each one of us in her care to our heavenly home. During his life on earth, Jesus never refused any request Mary made of him. And now from her exalted place in heaven she continues to intercede for all our needs.

In times of doubt, pain, illness, anxiety, fear, temptation, struggle, or oppression, let us call on our Mother to counsel, guard and guide us and obtain all the graces we need on our journey of life.