Tonight we will begin the Triduum with our Holy Thursday liturgy. We will be with Jesus as he washes his disciples feet and then wait with him in the garden. Tomorrow we will be with him to his death.
Week 3 of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius invites us to be with Jesus in his passion and to enter into his perspective. St. Ignatius wants us to focus on Jesus’ experience – being with his feelings all the way through the passion, including on the cross, all the way to his death.
But it is not just about Jesus’ feelings, but also about his response. My friend Maria Scaperlanda quoted in her blog post last night her friend Father Thomas Boyer, who said:
The Passion of Christ is not about how Christ suffered, what happened to him, and how awful we might think it was. The Passion of Christ is about his response, not his persecution…
Watch and learn from the master. Despite his fear and his agony, he is focused on God and on others. He meets women who are weeping for him, and he tells them to weep for themselves. He hangs there with a criminal, and he comforts him with a promise of Paradise. No matter what happens in this Passion, it is never about him. He remains attentive and focused on God and the needs of others… This is what we can learn from the Passion; not how Christ died, but what he still teaches us through his death about hope, about sacrifice, and about love for others.
Blessings on this Holy Thursday.