Thursday, March 08, 2007
Jesus was betrayed by a kiss. After having him arrested and questioned, Pilate’s next move was to take Jesus and have him scourged. Our dearest mother Mary, we pray for the virtue of mortification. Jesus was stripped, tied to a post, and probably beaten with a whip of leather straps embedded with metal and glass fragments, made to more effectively tear and disfigure human flesh. Love is vulnerable.
Jesus’ persecutors desired to beat the “ever-loving delights” of the Father from Him and cause Him to cease from His loving and merciful ways. Mortification calls us to recognize our inordinate attachments to the good things of this world, the things we so often say that we love. They are things such as food, sex, clothes, houses, alcohol, drugs, work, cars, and so many more things that we may use to build ourselves up and to feel good about ourselves.
In love, God created all things good. Yet there is nothing in this world that can make us feel good, except the realization that we are God’s good creation. Ultimately the free gift of our goodness is a sign of our participation in the Father’s “God-ness.” When we rend our hearts from so many “things” of this world, we too may then be available to the better things of God’s love. We may become instruments of God’s love and mercy, and disciples of Jesus who says, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Amen.
meditation by: Fr. Roger Hall, O.F.M.
image from: www.sofc.org