Grace: To feel shame and confusion that the Lord enters into His humiliation for my sake.
Text for Prayer: Mt 27:27-31
Reflection: “God mounts his throne to shouts of joy,” the Psalmist writes. Jesus mounts His throne on the Cross, revealing to us a new kind of king. There are indeed shouts, but these shouts from the crowd—those which had honored him when he arrived in Jerusalem—now become the shouts of jeering and humiliation from an angry mob. They want blood, and He gives them blood.
This one who is mocked is revealing in a most horrific way. The true source of his power and authority as king is the power of self-emptying love. His Heart—pierced on the Cross and enflamed for love of those who kill him—is the revelation of the depth of God’s love for us.
This juxtaposition—of God’s love and our hard-heartedness and cruelty—leads us into a state of confusion. This is the grace we seek at this point in the Spiritual Exercises, the grace of shame and confusion in light of the goodness, mercy, and love my God shows me in Christ Jesus.
The crowd wants to keep alive Barabbas (whose name means “son of the father”) instead of Jesus, the Eternal Son of the Heavenly Father. The crowd understands nothing. They act according to their own social and political instincts; they have forgotten who God is and lost sight of who they are. We are disoriented as we observe what is happening before us.
And yet, underneath the confusion, things are becoming very clear. Indeed, the Son of the Father will live. The one who is mocked as “king of the Jews” with the inscription above His head on the Cross is revealed to be just that: the King and the fulfillment of the People Chosen by God. We “behold the man”, as Pontius Pilate puts it-the man who remakes true man by His obedience and by His love. The truth emerges exactly out of the middle of the confusion. And we begin to see more and more clearly the truth of our lives as we are the ones for whom this love is being offered.
Questions: Can I just keep my eyes on Jesus today in this humiliation that he goes through for me? Perhaps in silently making the stations of the cross, can I let myself be moved by his willingness to “let everything go” for my sake? What is in His own heart as he makes this offering of himself for me? What is his desire for me? What is His hope? Talk with him as you see him moving along the Way of the Cross.