10 EASTER - A time of purpose and Commitment - Mudita Menona Sodder RSCJ

posted Apr 20, 2017, 8:56 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 20, 2017, 8:57 AM ]
Easter is a time of great purpose and commitment. Jesus on the Cross, overcame His apparent abandonment by God the Father by prayerfully reciting the opening line of Psalm 22: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" The rest of the Psalm moves from Absencing to Presencing, from losing to gaining, from complaining to praising, in regard to the mystery of God. The mere recitation of Psalm 22 for help, uttered by Jesus, went beyond his apparent aloneness in death.

Silence does not mean Absence. There is no area of life today that falls outside the Presence and Activity of God. In the Cross, Jesus is found to be Active and Present in the midst of extraordinary evil, suffering and death. He draws good out of evil, salvation out of suffering, and new life out of death. The realms of human failure and tragedy are today revealed to be within the compass of divine activity and transformation. Jesus on the Cross, in His own unique way, captures the paradox in life. Moments in my own life, when God seemed most Absent, were in hindsight recognised as the very moments when God was most Present - perhaps even carried me in His strong arms. In the same way, the silence of God at Calvary did not denote Absence. On the contrary, silence and signs, darkness and light, suffering and joy were the very location of God's creative Presence and Activity.

Our world today, threatened by the darkness of human, ecological and nuclear holocausts, needs a new and creative way to look into darkness. Jesus on the Cross showed us the way. We have to struggle with the God of Jesus against the human forces of darkness. Martin Luther said, "The Christian is someone, who in the face of darkness and death, goes into the garden of life to plant a tree, and knows that he or she does not plant in vain." Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Baba Amte, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Romero - all did the same. Jesus showed by example the Power of One. Others followed, and it worked. One person can make a difference to the world for the better.

It was precisely at the moment, when Jesus apparently felt abandoned by God His Father, that He felt an unexpected sense of deliverance. As if in the hard, sombre labyrinth of necessity, He had discovered liberty and freedom - "Father, not my Will, but yours be done." We human beings too feel an indescribable pride and joy when, within ourselves, we are the conquerors, although externally we feel utterly defeated. Outward calamity is transformed into supreme and unshakeable felicity.