23 March, 2018: He Suffered for You

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Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Reading: Jer. 20. 10-13; Gospel: Jn. 10. 31-42

Today’s Gospel passage once again narrates the struggle that Jesus underwent with the Jews. Looking at all the suffering that Jesus underwent, I keep asking myself: “Was all of it necessary? Was it worth a penny?” In a life threatening atmosphere, Jesus went about doing good and teaching the truth. Yet, all that He received in return was opposition, contempt, threats, desertion and crucifixion. And the highlight of it is that He knew all of this beforehand. And yet He did what He did. At times it’s very difficult to understand God’s ways.
Let’s take a look around the world. Even after twenty one centuries of Jesus’ incarnation, passion, death and resurrection, the world is still in chaos. Nothing much has changed. Murder, adultery, cheating, violence, war, etc. are still very rampart and on the increase with every passing day. Looking within us, we will realize that our intentions and inclinations are also far from what Jesus taught. Then why did He suffer for us? Did not Jesus know this would happen?
Yes, Jesus knew it. Yet He continues His work of salvation. This is where the love of God comes in. Though we were sinners, Christ died for us and made us realize God’s love (Rom 5:8). God alone can love us this way. Through our sins, through our imperfections, through our rebellion and disobedience, God still loves us. He longs for us and continues His work of salvation. God does not need us. He is perfect in Himself. But out of His love and mercy, He chooses to sacrifice Himself that we may have eternal life (Jn 3:16). Who can comprehend this love? Who can love us this way but God?
Jesus knew Judas would betray Him. Yet He chose to make Judas His apostle. He knew Peter would deny, yet He chose to make Peter the foundation of His Church. Even those who pierced Him with nails were definitely not outside the love of Jesus. That was why Jesus prayed: “Father forgive them, they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Though we keep crucifying Jesus with our sins, He loves you and me the same way. Despite our misgivings, our rebellion, our outright disobedience, and sinful inclinations and habits, God loves us.
Will you realize His love for you today?

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