“My soul is full of sorrow, even to death.” Jesus is not hiding his anguish and distress. He confided to his disciples the overwhelming manifestation of events gearing toward his suffering and death. The tormenting experience of the Lord is one of the consequences of his self-renunciation to the Will of the Father. This is the kenosis of the God who never abandoned us from the onset of our existence.“ Jesus emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave and being made in the likeness of men." In sacrificing himself, Jesus did not stop to be God rather he showed to all of us the profoundness of the Father’s love for his people. Up until this agonizing hours Jesus completely surrendered his spirit into the hands of his Father.
The passion of the Lord is depicting the self-stripping of his sovereignty to rescue the whole human race from a dreadful death. It shows his willingness to forgive like that of the burglar who professed his faith in him by confessing his sinful state. Jesus in the midst of too much pain promised him life in paradise. Such act is a sheer humility, the Word made flesh and live among us and eventually gave up his very own life for his creation.
Jesus is well accepted in Jerusalem. He is received with shouts of gladness and acclamations by the people who started to cling on him. But he did not deter from telling about his nearing suffering and death. In fact, he was chasing the time for him to institute the Eucharist before the predicted time would come. All he wanted is to leave us a living remembrance that would become an ultimate source of lasting joy even if he would be taken away from us.
The focal message of Passion Sunday does not stop on the passion of the Lord itself. Thus we should not limit our understanding on the things that Jesus has given up. We need to look beyond on things that he has taken up- the joyful tidings of the resurrection. He doesn’t want us only happiness for it is superficial. What he desires to suffuse in us is inner joy brought about by his resurrection. The anguish of Jesus gives us strength and his self-renunciation has revived our dropping souls. May we learn to empty ourselves so as to the wilting spirits of brothers and sister.
May the Lord will help us die from our self-centeredness and become imitators of his life-giving kenosis. Amen