Dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,
The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
The Prophet Isaiah spoke words that would perfectly describe Jesus’ fortitude as He approached His Passion. Jesus did not disdain the Cross; He willingly endured torture, humiliation, and death for our sake. Jesus knew that He was doing the will of His Heavenly Father, and that made Him supremely confident. Betrayal by Judas, abandonment by the other disciples, scourging, mockery, and crucifixion were nothing compared to the knowledge that what He was doing was pleasing to the Father and necessary for our salvation.
In the garden Jesus prayed: ““My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!” The cup of suffering He drank to the dregs, and celebrated with the opening words to Psalm 22: “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” Though it begins with a lament, this psalm ends with words of supreme hope: And I will live for the LORD; my descendants will serve you. The generation to come will be told of the Lord, that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn the deliverance you have brought. Jesus knows He will live again. The Resurrection is as sure a thing for Him as are the Passion and Death. Jesus’ confidence in the Father is ironclad. He is the Prince of Peace, about to enter into His Kingdom forever. We are the captives led into His City, rescued from slavery to sin by His triumph on the Cross.
Acknowledging the pain we feel at being unable to celebrate the Triduum together in person, let us unite our sufferings to Christ’s Cross. May our humble submission in enduring this hardship bear great fruit for us and for our descendants. Our lukewarm hearts, with which for so long we have taken the Eucharist for granted, now burn within us. When we do resume public Masses, our hearts will exult! The feeling of Lent may linger this year, but our Easter joy will no doubt burst forth from us in wonderful ways. May we have the endurance to celebrate worthily the sacred Mysteries of Holy Week and sublimate our disappointments into deeper meditation, more heartfelt prayer, and true appreciation for the Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherever you are, shout Hosanna to our King! He enters the holy city to conquer sin and death, and by His wounds we are healed.
Peace in Christ,
Father Matthew Kuhn