This morning, the feast of the Black Christ of Esquipulas, I prayed the readings for the feast of the Holy Cross, thinking these would be the readings for Mass today. I’ll be going to the 4 pm Mass in Bañaderos and will probably preach there on the readings in the booklet we use. But here are some thoughts on Numbers 21: 4-9, Philippians 2: 6-11, and John 3: 13-17 – readings that touch me deeply.
It’s so easy to complain. Something’s wrong and we are frustrated. So we complain. What does that do? Does it help resolve the problem? Or does it isolate us in our complaining?
Sure, there is a lot to complain about – the cold or a cold, racism or repression, poverty or poor roads.
But if we just complain, isn’t that like a snake bite, that poisons our bodies and our souls?
But what is the response of Jesus?
He empties himself, in the face of suffering and pain. He identifies with our suffering and with the suffering of the least among us. He does not pull back, holding on to his position as God. No, he becomes one of us, feeling our pain.
But even more he gives himself over in love.
Feeling pain for Jesus meant healing, touching the outcast, going where those in power dare not go. Even to death, where love leads him.
God so loves us that He comes among us, suffers with us, dies with and for us.
And what are we called to do?
Love, give ourselves, empty ourselves of all that keeps us from loving God and the least among us.
Lord, empty me, fill me with love, send me out to give myself for others.