Sunday, April 17, 2011

worth it

From childhood, Palm Sunday meant having to stand up for a l.o.n.g time for the Gospel reading in shoes that pinched my feet.  That and having to listen to the retelling of the Passion, which was just oh-so-depressing.  I really didn't get it at all, did I?

Then when I kind of started to "get it", in my young adult days, it was more of as if Jesus was just having one of those days when everything went wrong.  I mean, why did He answer them in riddles?  Why didn't He just explain things so they could understand it?

Gradually, I understand more and more.  That Jesus was fulfilling the purpose for which He save us.  That He obediently endured a painful and horrible death, in order that we might see the depths of His love.  That those who were questioning Him were never going to understand...didn't want to understand. 

Old testament scriptures - including today's from Isaiah - pointed to the kind of death that the Suffering Servant was to suffer.  Jesus, himself, knew.  And gradually, events in the Gospels lead to this Holy Week.  Last week we saw Jesus meeting  the ultimate enemy, death, head-on (with his friend, Lazarus) and winning.

Today's second reading says that "Christ emptied himself."  It's a good description of the Passion.  He allows us a share in His sufferings, even thought nothing was lacking in His.

And still my priest asked, "Why?"  He says he generally avoids asking the "why" question (because the answer is often "why not"...'tis better to ask "what, Lord? [do you want be to be/know/do]).  But he asked the Lord, "why?" in his meditations this week.  And the 4-word answer was, "You Are Worth It!" 

Even though we will truly never "get" the sufferings that He endured (or the joy in loving us that much), He would have suffered and died for us, if we were the only person in the world.

And that leads us to the question...Is He worth it?  Is He worth learning about, spending time with, emptying ourselves for?


  1. I used to HATE having to say those words, "Crucify Him" during the reading of the Passion, but now I understand that we HAVE to say that. It was because of OUR sins that he died for us. It makes perfect sense to me now.

  2. A very long gospel reading, but one that we need to keep hearing and reflecting on, as it is the center of our faith. This is the height of the Church calendar, when we celebrate the very reasons that we are Christians. God says that we were worth it, so He is certainly worth it.

    Thanks for this reflection!