Lent: Cross, an accepted suffering

Another year had passed since the last time I've shared my own personal "Lenten" reflection on this site. Too many events had happened in between --- death of my father-in-law, cancellation of wedding reservations, re-assessing and re-booking, job transfer of my husband, government issues, calamities and there also, our wedding but that was just the outer part of it,  mainly the preface if we are to compare it with a book.  In fact, 'tis just a tiny dot, visible only thru what scientist calls a microscope.What covers a vast or large area in one's life is the experience, how this certain event has molded us, has re-formed us. Did we ever stop and for a moment reflected upon these events? Or even ask ourselves as to why and what's the purpose of it?

Many times I question myself as to why do we celebrate Lent? The main purpose of watching over and over again scenes from the Passion of Christ, listening to Christ's seven last words during Good Friday and why do we call it such well in fact, 'tis the day that Jesus was crucified? Are we rejoicing for his death? Yes, I am one of the many who question this --- long before I entered the Covenant Community I am serving for the last five years, long before when I usually judge the book by its cover and not the content. And true, we are in fact rejoicing not for Christ's death but for the fulfillment of God's will, the Father's way of bringing the gift of salvation to the world, to us specifically. Jesus suffers for all of us and He does so willingly within the framework of obedience to the Father.

"Christ Jesus, though He was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross." Phil 2:6-8

The passage was taken from the Second Reading of yesterday's Eucharistic Celebration, Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of the Passiontide / Holy Week. A very inspiring reading that prepares us in the commemoration of the Passion of Christ. The Jews have the tradition of a yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the celebration of Passover. As they would ascend the roads leading to Jerusalem, they would recite the Psalms of Ascent and sing joyful songs proclaiming the victory and reign of God over our lives and this is what we celebrated yesterday --- our soon to be victorious king over sin and death.

The gate has been opened once again this week for us to reflect upon the passion of Christ. For us to remember somehow that we will achieve nothing for the Kingdom of God without obedience to the Father's will. Human as we are, we tend to be blinded by worldly things, earthly desires that we forget what Jesus has given up for us many years ago. We live in a world that cares little for the truth and finds no importance of living our lives in accordance to the will of God. People seek to advance themselves and their ideas without regard for the well-being of others - in general as I may speak. The annual commemoration of the Death and Resurrection of Christ during the Holy Week is a way of awakening all of us that though we are sinners, like Dimas, if we are to address our sinfulness and repent, God will surely promise us paradise. It is this sort of selflessness that we need to learn if we ever hope to be with the Father. If we ever hope to join him once again in Jesus second coming. What awaits at the finish line is NEVER  the end of the world but the paradise Jesus has promised for all of us. It is then through faith that we enter into the fullness of our being and who we truly are in the eyes of God. Be not afraid to take up your own cross, for it is indeed a symbol of an accepted suffering before the Father. Life is a continuous journey and we are given a chance each day to change our old ways and start anew. Change is not something that we should be ashamed of, it is rather something we should be proud in a humble way that we have addressed our transgressions and opened up ourselves to renewal.

Whenever evil befalls us, we ought to ask ourselves, after the first suffering, how we can turn it into good. So shall we take occasion, from one bitter root, to raise perhaps many flowers.
Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)

No comments: