The primary human need and goal is to love and be loved and to know and be known. By God’s gracious design sorrow and suffering have become a means by which our inmost being experiences love. After His Agony in the Garden, when the minions of the Jews came to apprehend Jesus, one of His disciples drew a sword and struck the slave of the High Priest. Jesus said to him: “Put your sword back into its place…Do you not think I can appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (cf. Mt. 26:51-53) We know from these words of our Savior that it would have been good and just enough if He had not undergone His bloody Passion. Since all His acts are infinite, He could have redeemed mankind by a single tear. But this would not have satisfied Love: He had to give all and he desired to do so. Pain penetrates deep into our nature and opens a wound which can receive and understand love. Jesus’ Sacrifice is the primary reason why we can draw such goodness from suffering. It unites us to Him in the Mystery of His Cross and enables a mutual flow of knowing and loving. We pray then that, after the example of Our Lady sharing in Christ’s sufferings at the foot of the Cross, all who suffer may have the strength to draw the goodness available to them even in their darkest trials.
Salvation history is like a magnificent poem expressing God’s Romance with His People. As we approach the Holy Days commemorating Our Savior’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection, we are given cause to reflect on how much we are worth to God and why. The infinite mutual flow of love in the Most Blessed Trinity has become a fertile Communion from whence is born a distinct creation. In creation one can see traces of God Who is the Source, but God has made man in His Image. God has bestowed on human nature the capacity to respond to His Divine Love, and He espouses mankind through His Beloved Son, drawing us to Himself through the vivifying action of the Holy Spirit. He is so in love with us that when we betrayed His Love He took the full burden of our sins upon Himself and delivered Himself over to death for our sake. He thirsts for our hearts and desires to unite us to Himself forever in heaven. Though we were sinners and worse than worthless, He loved us and gave Himself for us, so how could we call ourselves worthless now? His Love has redeemed us and ours is an eternal vocation. “I know well the plans I have in mind for you, plans for your welfare, not for woe.” May we all offer him perpetual praise and thanksgiving for His Infinite Mercy that lasts forever!