In the Lord's anguish is distress over our indifference

Posted on Apr 14, 2022

We look at the failures of St Peter, St Mary Magdalene, and so many other “shady” characters of the Gospels, who had real failures to be sorry for. And we celebrate them at the altar as having been renewed and healed by Christ. Their falls are now encouragement for us. Simon Peter, for one, had even vigorously protested against Jesus when the Lord told him to his face: You will deny me three times before dawn. He found out what he was truly capable of in the hours that followed, and never forgot it.

The sins and mistakes aren’t the main point; it is the goodness and mercy of God that make the Saint out of a failed person. Sometimes we see the Saints going through horrible experiences—experiences that could destroy a person’s hope, experiences that could make a person bitter and angry for the rest of their lives. But they go through it with God. They don’t just try to cope; they go through their suffering, even the consequences of their own sins, walking with God.

As we follow Jesus to the Upper Room, to Calvary, and to the tomb, and out of the tomb, we learn the importance of being able to do something very simple: to stand up again and again. That is our version of the resurrection during our own lifetimes on earth. If I believe that Jesus is going to suffer all things for me and then rise again, then my response to His gift must be to stand up again. To rise up after repeated failures shows that we are headed toward a final rising, an ultimate resurrection of our own, after which there will be no further danger of falling, and every tear will be wiped away.

Our Lord is now in deep anguish and His tears are beginning to flow. We should recognize that He weeps not for Himself. His distress is not even so much over sin. He mourns our lack of receptivity to the forgiveness He is purchasing for us. He mourns our lack of confidence in His love and mercy. He sorrows over our lack of honesty about ourselves. If we fail to acknowledge our sins, how can we be made whole again by His wounds?

Rev. John Henry Hanson, O.Praem., “Could I Really Do a Thing Like That?” (a meditation for Wednesday of Holy Week), St. Josemaria Institute