Suffering Love of Jesus
“Love is always ready… to endure whatever comes…” “He then left to make his way to the Mount of Olives… he withdrew from them… knelt down and prayed. ‘Father,’ he said, ‘if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done’ … In anguish he prayed even more earnestly and his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood… Judas… went up to Jesus to kiss him. Jesus said, ‘Judas are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?’… But he (Peter) denied it. ‘Woman,’ he said, ‘I do not know him.’… When they reached the place called the Skull, they crucified him there and the two criminals also, one on the right, the other on the left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing'” (1 Cor 13:7; Lk 22:39-62; 23:33-34)
Jesus did not give up his love when trials came upon him. His love was not a pretense; he did not seek revenge, but prayed forgiveness for those who crucified him. He endured whatever came: the Father’s demand for his life; an apostle’s betrayal, another’s denial and abandonment by all. He willingly took up the cross to carry it for love of us. No word of complaint escaped his mouth; he was as silent as a sheep before the shearer. He consoled those who were sorrowing for him and begged forgiveness for those who drove the nails and mocked him. He endures our lack of response to his love, our limitation in carrying out his will that we take up our cross daily and follow him. Every time we turn from him we put to death again the love and life he desires for us. But the Heart of Jesus seeks no revenge; his love is not pretense. He endures our betrayals, our denials, our flight from his love because he knows that our growth is slow and often impeded with selfishness. The Sacred Heart invites us: “Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.” “If any man is thirsty, let him come to me! Let the man come and drink who believes in me.” He has opened his Heart for us: “… one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance and immediately there came out blood and water.”
We thank you, Lord Jesus, for the love which suffers our weaknesses, limitations, and downright unwillingness to follow your way. We thank you for the patience with which you suffer us to come near you, to eat at your table, and to make our home in your love when we come back to you. We praise you for enduring our blindness, our deceit, and our despair while you exhort us to live in faith by which we might see, in truth by which we are set free from sin, and in hope by which we are saved until the shadows give place to reality. We thank you for your anguished prayer for our life; your bloody sweat for our treachery; your forgiveness for our lack of loyalty to our best friend and savior. We will proclaim your suffering love to all our brothers.