Before you read this reflection, I encourage you to bow your head and pray for God’s grace. Pray that Jesus will allow you to enter into the mystery of His Passion more deeply than you have before so that you can treasure the greatness of His love and courageously respond to His call to assist Him in His plan of salvation. Jesus loves you so much!
Why meditate on the Passion of Our Saviour Jesus Christ?
“Nothing could be as beneficial as contemplating what Jesus endured for our sakes upon the Cross. No remedy could be as effective for the healing of our wounded souls as the continuous contemplation on the suffering of Christ.” St. Augustine
“Our contemplation on the suffering of Christ makes us grieve our sin so God can forgive us and preserve us from it. Our regret will also help us not to revert to it.” Fr. Manasseh Youhanna, author of the book “The Crucified Jesus”
The Virgin Mary said to St. Faustina, “Be courageous. Do not fear apparent obstacles, but fix your gaze upon the Passion of My Son, and in this way you will be victorious.” (Source: Diary of St. Faustina 449)
Come with me then on the Way to Calvary and let us fulfill this Scripture through solemn, quiet contemplation: “They shall look on Him whom they have pierced.” John 19:37
The Way to Calvary
The Passion journey begins in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus enters a dark garden requesting that His apostles, Peter, James and John stay awake, except they fall asleep as Jesus becomes deeply distressed contemplating the great suffering He would have to endure to redeem His people.
Our Holy Lord is in anguish sweating drops of blood as He calls out loudly to the Father: “Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Mark 14: 36 “Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:40-41
As we contemplate the suffering of Our Lord in the garden the Holy Spirit will reveal to each of us some special spiritual treasure that we must hold in our heart and reflect upon. As I enter the garden of Gethsemane with Jesus I wonder how many times and in how many places Our Holy Lord suffers alone. We are supposed to be the disciples of Jesus, His Body on earth, yet how often are we asleep to the suffering of our neighbours around the world? Our neighbours in need, like Jesus, must be praying for their suffering to pass. In some cases we are in a position to alleviate their pain, but what prevents us from doing that?
When I was nine years old I broke my arm. My father brought me to the hospital where X-rays revealed only a sprain, except the truth was my arm was fractured; the radiologist made a mistake reading the X-ray. The day after I broke my arm, I waited for my friend to come walk with me to school; I was in pain. That morning my friend was late: “Where have you been?” I remember saying in distress. “Now we are going to be late for school! I have hurt my arm and I need you to carry my books because I have to carry my arm.” As I struggled to walk to school, my little friend struggled burdened with two book bags on her back. I tried with my healthy arm to carry my broken arm. I was grateful to have had the help of my little friend.
As ONE Body of Christ we are called to help carry one another’s burdens. Souls that are in a state of grace because they are penitent and striving to do God’s will, must help souls who are not in a state of grace because they are wounded by sin and need to repent to access God’s forgiveness. The healthy soul must carry/assist the soul broken by sin. Souls are waiting for assistance. They may call out to us, like I did to my little friend when I was in need “Where have you been?”
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus is preparing to carry all our sins on His tender shoulders. Jesus was in distress contemplating the horror of the sins of every generation. Imagine Him seeing the future, the wars, the violence, the oppression, the corruption, the impurity of man and the grave injustice. The humanity of Our Lord called out for comfort and consolation while the divinity of Our Lord resolved to prove to us how much He loves us. An angel from heaven comes to console Jesus. What can we do to console God and one another? Are we resolved to do all we can to prove to Jesus we love Him by our choices?
How much I want to console You Holy Lord by helping You in every way possible!
As I continue my walk to Calvary, I see Our Holy Lord being arrested, innocent of any crime, yet treated like a criminal. I see Jesus waiting in a prison alone, knowing that in the morning He would be crucified. How long and lonely that night must have been. “He was harshly treated, yet he submitted and did not open his mouth. He was silent like a lamb led to the slaughter…” Isaiah 53:7
Jesus is scourged for our sins. What horrible brutality! I see Our Holy Lord with tears in His eyes enduring this torture for our salvation! Consider this …“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:3-5
How can it be that we despised and rejected Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, True God, True Man? How can it be that we held Him in low esteem?
How can we not adore Him NOW for the suffering He endured to set us free? How will we prove our love to Him?
I grieve my sins Holy Lord and the pain they have caused You! I want to honour You and help You to save souls. As I stand with You at the pillar meditating upon this brutal scourging and torture I grieve all the sins of mankind and I pray that all my Christian brothers and sisters will join me in reflecting daily on Your Passion, praying for the redemption of all souls as we strive to embrace Your Holy Will.
As I continue my Walk to Calvary I see Jesus, the Prince of Peace, being crowned with thorns, mocked and spat upon. What horrible humiliation! What pain! “His appearance was so marred beyond human semblance, and His form beyond that of the sons of men—so shall He startle many nations; Kings shall shut their mouths because of Him…” Isaiah 52:14-15
What courage you had Holy Lord and what infinite love You demonstrated! Please forgive me for the times I have been so impatient enduring humiliation. I offer You my life, my suffering, my joy, my resolve to do all things for Your glory. Please help me to make choices that honour You.
When you see the scourged, beaten, disfigured Jesus carrying His Cross up the hill to Calvary and when you see His pain and realize He is doing all of this for you, to create a place for you in Paradise, you will be changed!
I see the Blessed Virgin Mary in my contemplation suffering with tears in her eyes as she watches her Holy Son, Our Saviour, carrying the heavy weight of the Cross. “Come all you who pass by along the road, look and see whether there is any pain like my pain.” Lamentations 1:12 How much she suffered to watch her Son Jesus, the Living God, be tortured and murdered for our salvation!
“And after they had mocked Him, they took His robe off and put his garments on him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they were coming out, they found a man of Cyrene named Simon, who they pressed into service to bear His Cross.” Matthew 27:31-32 Let us recall the words of Jesus, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
I see Our humble Lord Jesus lying down on the Cross to be crucified and profound silence, reverence and sorrow comes over me. The crowd was chanting “Crucify him!” and these are the words Jesus prayed: “Father forgive them for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34
I hear the blows of the hammer nailing Our precious Saviour to the Cross and I cannot stop my tears from flowing for we have all caused Jesus so much pain by our sins! Yet tears are NOT enough, we must PROVE our LOVE TO HIM.
“WE LOVE BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US!” 1 John 4:19
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13
I see Our Holy Lord hanging on the Cross in agony struggling to breathe, praying for our redemption and my heart is pierced by His love. I love YOU my God!
“My strength is trickling away like water, and all my bones are dislocated. My heart has turned to wax and melts within me. My mouth is as dry as clayware and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you have laid me down in the dust of death.” Psalm 2:15 “They have pierced my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones.” Psalm 22:17
“This is how God showed his love: he sent his only Son into the world…as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:9 “Beloved if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” John 4:11
Jesus was crucified at 9am and He died for us at 3pm. Jesus hung on the Cross in agony for six hours!!!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17
Reparation to Divine Justice
On the Cross Jesus pays the price of divine justice. God’s work of salvation is consummated on the Cross. The merits of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ are infinite and make full reparation to God’s divine justice, i.e., Jesus pays the price of all our sins, all we need to do is REPENT.
The problem is many souls are not turning to Jesus for salvation, i.e., souls are NOT repenting. The souls that have fallen out of God’s grace are like the broken arm in need of a healthy arm (a righteous soul) to carry it. The Body of Christ must continue to make reparation to God’s divine justice, i.e., deny ourselves, do penance for our sins, serve God and prove our love as we pray for God’s grace upon all and love one another.
St. Paul said, “Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.” Colossians 1:24
St. Paul was not ‘atoning’ for sin for Jesus paid the full price of our sins, but St. Paul was suffering to try to bring more souls to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, thus building up the Body of Christ, the Church.
God’s work of salvation continues as His Body on earth, His disciples, do good works, evangelize and pray that all souls turn to Jesus for redemption. We must repent of our sins and dedicate our lives to doing the Holy Will of God as we pray for God’s Holy Spirit to heal our broken world, to silence the forces of evil and to save all souls.
We must remember the instructions of Our Lord Jesus
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” Luke 6:35
We must forgive as Jesus forgave us!
Christianity was built on the Sacred Blood of Our Lord Jesus and on the blood of many holy martyrs. When St. Stephen was stoned to death he “cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:60
St Paul said, “… When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world–right up to this moment.” 1 Corinthians 4:12-13
The apostles persevered in spite of the hardships because they believed in the promise of eternal life and so too must we.
Jesus Prayed for All Believers that we may all be ONE!
On the night before Jesus died He prayed for His apostles and all future believers:
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17: 20-23
The Resurrection of Our Lord is the promise of eternal life in which we hope!
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11: 25-26
“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” John 11:27
“Christ…was raised to life on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:4
LET US BE AS ONE AND FULFILL THE PRAYER JESUS PRAYED!
Join the Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ this Easter!
As Disciples of Our Lord Jesus we have a responsibility to pray for souls who are not in God’s grace. The responsibility of believers to help fallen souls is GREAT! Let us believe in the power of prayer. Prayer is the key that opens the heart of God and the Passion of Christ is the key that opens the human heart to understanding the greatness of God’s love.
Please join the global peace movement that is uniting in prayer, contemplating the Passion of Christ, every day at 3pm (in our local time zones), because 3pm is the time Jesus died for us on the Cross.
We are calling this peace movement A Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ because we know that Jesus will revolutionize the lives of all those who come to Him with true faith. Pray for the mercy of Our Holy Lord upon all souls. Thank Jesus for loving us so much that He would die for us. Pray that Jesus will send His Holy Spirit upon our broken and suffering world so that we may all repent and give God the glory He so deserves as we commit to loving God and one another.
The answers to our many problems exist. With God all things are possible! Let us unite as ONE Body of Christ and turn to Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, with trust, with hope and with love! Stand at the foot of the Cross of Jesus every day at the time He died for you, 3pm, and you will fall in love with Your Saviour and then temptation will lose its grip on you and you will be filled with holy desire to please Our Redeemer Jesus Christ, True God, True Man.