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The Culmination of Holy Week

God has died. Not sparing himself, God the Son voluntarily humbled himself and took the form of a slave in order to make slaves into children of God the Father, and human beings into partakers of Divine Nature (He is the Life). Jesus experienced human life from conception all the way to death, even a brutal death on a cross; he went through it all, preparing the way for humanity to walk in (He is the Way). Only love in the truest sense can explain why God lies in the stone cold tomb.

On Holy Thursday Jesus showed us, in the washing the feet, how the greatest must be the servant of the least. He instructed his disciples to go and do the same: “love one another as I loved you.” But how can anyone hope to do this? How can we love as Jesus without posessing the love with which he loves? And so, Jesus shares his very Heart under the appearances of bread and wine; the same Love Who died on the Cross gives his saving Body and Blood as food: “this is my body which will be given up for you.”

The Liturgies of Good Friday and Palm Sunday reminded me that I myself shouted “crucify him” every time I commited a mortal sin. When I chased something other Christ, I cried “we have no king but Caesar.” Every sin is a denial of Jesus.

It is on Cross that God manifests the depths of how far He would go to free the likes of me from the eternal enslavement to sin and death. On the Cross the regenerating flow of grace gushed forth from the side of the New Temple; the power to become adopted children of God was made freely available. Jesus’ death is life: The Cross is redemptive. Death is dead, a gate of life. Everything’s upside down—right side up. In light of all this, I can do no other than live for him who died for me that I might live. I must make the most of this free grace because I was redeemed at such a great price.

Jesus thirsts to be thirsted for. How can we refuse? It all starts with accepting the love of God—be loved in order to love in return. Living and loving in Jesus means continually saying “fiat voluntas tua.” Not my will but yours be done. Even in suffering. Jesus exemplifies this: Adam disobeyed at the wrong tree, Jesus obeyed on the right tree. We can unite our suffering to his. Sometimes we complain and suffer poorly—I know about that—we can offer even this after the fact. Our Lady at Calvary knows about thirsting for God and doing his will—that is why he gave her to us at the foot of the Cross.

Today, Holy Saturday, we wait at the tomb–in a garden–with Mother Mary, the New Eve. May she prepare us for the Resurrection of her Son, Christ our Life. In a few hours Jesus will rise: love is stronger than death. How can death hope to contain Life?

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