All of the readings today point to the crucified Christ. Jesus tells His two apostles who want to sit on His right and left in the kingdom of heaven that they aren’t prepared to drink of the same cup – the cup of suffering. They were clueless as to what kind of Kingship Jesus lived. He was to empty Himself completely in a degrading, slow, excruciating death in order to redeem us. Jesus shows us that in order to be great in the Kingdom of heaven, we must be willing to give of ourselves totally, for the good and sanctification of others.
Most young girls dream of meeting a knight in shining armor – someone who would love her so much that he’d be willing to lay down his life for her. Jesus is that Knight in shining armor for all of us!
Sometimes, it’s difficult to look at a crucifix, especially one that depicts Jesus’ crucifixion accurately. I think that it is important that we do not remove the body of Jesus from the cross. It is difficult to look at, but we mustn’t look away – lest we forget the magnitude of the sacrifice – the magnitude of His love.
The second reading today from Hebrews gives us such incredible hope, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace
to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.”
Whatever it is that we are going through in life – the loss of a loved one, temptation, poverty, unemployment, illness, aging, difficulties with children or relationships, depression – Jesus can relate to our human weaknesses and problems. He humbled Himself to share in our humanity. All we need to do is look to our Jesus on that crucifix, and know that we do not shoulder our burdens and crosses alone. He has traveled that difficult road before us, and in the end, He was TRIUMPHANT! Jesus’ resurrection extends to us that very powerful hope that though we suffer in this life, if we love Him, we too will be glorified in the next. Thanks be to God!