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Holy Week Thoughts 2018

Holy Week Thoughts 2018

Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas

Saint Mark retells the last hours of Jesus on the cross by simply telling us that a few minutes before Jesus breathed His last, the Lord said “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Saint Mark’s story of the passion and death is brief, direct and forthright. It was as human as can be.

In this passion and death story written by Saint Mark, the last question of Jesus was “Why”. He was begging for reasons.

My God my God…I obeyed, you abandoned me. I proclaimed your greatness, you allowed me to be shamed. Father…I healed them in your name, you now leave me in great pain. I loved them as you loved me, now you leave me alone. I trusted them with the secrets of heaven, now you leave me naked, mocked and laughed at. I called them friends not slaves, now I look like not even as slave but like a wretched worm.

Why Father?

He heard no answer. He received no reason. He got no explanation. Jesus asked “Why” and his question was met with silence. No reply but just silence. This is the mystery of the Father’s love.

Centuries later, Blaise Pascal will say “The heart has reasons that reason does not know”. Indeed that was what happened at Calvary. The logic of human reason failed the grasp the logic of the Father’s love.

Love is a mystery. Love is not illogical. Love is beyond logic. There was no reply even if there was much love.

Nineteen years before Calvary, when Jesus was only twelve years old, Saint Luke recorded the first word of Jesus recorded in the Bible “Why were you looking for me?”

His first word was “Why” like His last word was also “Why”.

Why were you looking for me? Were you afraid you lost me? Were you afraid to be punished for being negligent parents? Were you afraid I could have fallen into criminals’ hands? Were you looking for me so I can give you the joy of having a child? When children lose parents they are called orphans; when parents lose an only child like me, there is no word to describe the loss. Were you afraid?

As at Calvary, so was it in the temple when the Lord was twelve. He received no answer from Mary and Joseph. His question was met with silence. Mary and Joseph could not understand.

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