Antonio Ciseri. Ecce Homo. Museo Cantonale d’Arte
The moment when Jesus was handed over by one of His best friends to those who would do with Him as they pleased, was the turning point in Jesus’ ministry. It was a turning from action to passion. Things were no longer done by Him, but to Him. Jesus fulfilled His mission not by what He did, but by what was done to Him.
Only John the beloved disciple and the three Marys were with Him when He was nailed to the cross. Fear had scattered the rest. Jesus accepted the horror of the cross in loving obedience to His Father. It was this love that made the atonement adequate and His agony bearable. In this fearsome hour God’s plan of salvation was being fulfilled. The glory of God burst through in Jesus’ passion precisely when He was most victimized. New life becomes visible, not only in the resurrection on the third day, but already in the passion, in the being handed over. It is in the passion that the fullness of God’s love shines through.
The truth is most of our lives are determined by what is done to us or happens to us—our passion. We must embrace our own passion with loving trust as Jesus did. We are asked to hold our suffering until we break through to resurrection in this life. Our cross is the gateway to oneness with Infinity itself.
the transforming power of suffering,
distress, despair, degradation
all at the same time.
Affliction also –
the point of the nail piercing,
entering the Holy of Holies.
Over the infinity of space and time, the infinite Love of God comes to possess us. Surprisingly, this Love comes in the image of the nail. Our finite vision sees no purpose in suffering, but can we trust that when we embrace our passion, we are being prepared for a far deeper love? It is a love that is underneath the pain, not yet fully tasted. Can we see that in the midst of our suffering, in the midst of our waiting, we can already experience new life? That all of suffering humanity is understood and cradled in deepest Love? That our most grievous sorrows are known and held by the Highest Good?
From The Hidden Life Awakened p. 214:
Jesus leads us to the foot of the cross, and then we are drawn into the cross. There we die to all that is false in us and become one with Him. It is when we pass through the cross that our hearts are softened by a holy compassion that embraces the whole world. We have finally passed through ourselves and transcended the things of the world that would keep us in bondage.