Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Handed Over

“The Son of Man is going to be handed over into the power of men.” Handed over! On one level, on the surface, Jesus was handed over to his enemies by Judas. But on a deeper level, for love of us, with a complete yielding to the Father’s redeeming purpose – he unreservedly handed himself over.

Jesus, we are told, set his face resolutely toward Jerusalem and all that awaited him there. He could say: “Nobody takes my life from me. I lay it down of my own accord.”  

It was a moving forward in love, a letting go totally into the hands of God,  allowing his life fall like a grain of wheat into the dark earth.  It was with such absolute trust that Jesus went to the Cross and, with such abandonment to the Father, he handed over his life for us.    

And what of us, as the Lord’s disciples? St Francis so often refers to the Scripture: “Christ suffered for you leaving you an example that you might follow in his footprints.” And it is, above all, this interior disposition of trusting surrender that is the heart of Christ’s example we are called to follow.

The saints constantly teach us this message of handing over all our lives, especially the inevitable, unavoidable sufferings and struggles and trials we face. St Ignatius prayed: “Take, Lord, receive... all is yours. Dispose of it wholly according to your will.” John Newton, slave-trader turned servant of the Gospel, wrote in a time of great trial: “It is sufficient that the Lord knows how to dispose of me, and that he can and will do what is best. To him I entrust myself for I trust that his will and my true interests are inseparable. To his name be the glory!”

The saints know that in the end the Lord asks for everything so that we might receive everything. There has to be an immense space for the gift of God!

Something to hold in our hearts as we approach the week we call Holy.