PART IV: MAKING CHRIST BETTER KNOWN THROUGH CHARITY

Palm or Passion Sunday, Year B

The Sufferings of Christ

If you will be asked to write your own eulogy, how will it be like? Will you focus on the good things that you have done in this world? Or will you try to sugar-coat your wrongdoings in the past to justify them? Or just like in many eulogies, will you try to even canonize yourself as if one of the Saints equal to the ranks of Mother Theresa, St. Francis of Assisi, or the great doctors of the Church like St. Thomas Aquinas and Augustine?

[Eulogy, from the Greek word “Eulogia” derivative of the words “Eu” meaning “praise” and “logia” meaning “speaking.” It is, therefore, a discourse of praise said about a person especially the deceased person.]

This [morning/evening] we hear a long discourse about the Passion of Christ and to many of us, we could say that it was a horrible death; it was sad; it was cruel for indeed it was. But if there was one thing in the entire account that I think most painful, it would be the very moment when Jesus said these very last words until he breathed his last: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit!” Imagine Jesus, crying out these very words out loud, helpless, in pain, and in sorrow. He was a God, His Father could have done something and yet, the plan has to be fulfilled. He has to die for us all to save us! That is the MYSTERY OF THE CROSS! The mystery that saved us all, the CROSS, which is a sign of our faith. [Does Jesus have to die?]

The main goal of St. Mark’s account of the Passion is to increase our faith and to bring us to believe in Jesus Christ who is the Son of God and the Messiah. Amidst the cruelty and unfair death, we find both the humanity and divinity of Christ who endured the pains of torture and rejection while at the same time fulfilling the divine task of salvation on his shoulders. In this account of the passion, we find meaning in our own sufferings, in spiritual healing which people of today truly needs. Healing from a depressed economy; healing from doubts and confusion with regards our faith; and healing from useless anxieties caused by man’s insensitivity. And so, when Jesus said: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit!” He was not actually crying for his Father to save Him. His was actually a cry of forgiveness and healing for humanity. To let go of his mortal body in order that our own bodies too may find salvation. The big question that we can therefore ask ourselves is: “If Christ endured the very sufferings of the cross which was painful, cruel and unjust, why can’t we endure our own crosses when in so doing we share in the very suffering of Christ?

On this feast of Palm Sunday, Christians recall and mark the joyous and triumphant entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. The main message of this feast is that the acceptance of the cross is the only road to ultimate victory and happiness. It is to accept our cross even if it means a painful and sad death.

And so, if I am to make my own eulogy or ask someone to do mine, I would focus on the very day when I was the weakest. In times when I thought, there was no hope and so expose my vulnerability. I would narrate it the way St. Mark did in his account of the Passion of Christ without sugar-coating some events so as to appear venerable or blessed. I would not tell in words any sign of praise to myself. If there be any mention of praise at all, I’ll make sure that it points to the ONE who’s most deserving of all our praises, to the ONE who truly suffered that we may live. Amen.

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Comments 7 comments

MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean

Quite an Easter sermon you have here, commenting on our response to the life and death of Christ. I also would like that in my eulogy, it stresses that anything good in my life was because of Christ's sacrifice for me. Keep up the good work.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Here's my Eulogy plain and simple. He was born. He lived. He died, and serving Almighty God, was the only thing important in his life.

Plain and simple.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

The saddest words spoken by Jesus during his cricifixion, Jesus speaks as he is hanging there with the sins of man all over him.

"My God! My God! Why, have you forsaken me? Jesus glances to heaven and sees Our Father Almighty God with His back turned to His Only Begotten Son. God could not even look upon Jesus with "Sin". Jesus physical pains are compounded with this mental anguish of seeing His Father turn His back on His Son.

Jesus knows that this is to happen for while he prays in the garden His Prayer is: "Father, yet, not my will, but thine be done."


giopski profile image

giopski 4 years ago from Oakland, California Author

Thanks for this remarks. I felt the same way too. I think that our very identity is anchored in the very life of Jesus Christ, His passion, death and resurrection (paschal mystery). Only then can we feel glorified as we acknowledge our sufferings as sharing in Christ's.


giopski profile image

giopski 4 years ago from Oakland, California Author

I totally agree. The one I've mentioned ("Father, into your hands I commend my spirit) is found in the Gospel of Luke and not in Mark which is this year's passion reading. But no matter how you put it, His yearning for His Father's help truly moves us in some sort of way to love Jesus all the more and to have the clearest appreciation of our own personal sufferings with reference to Christ's. Thanks Dave as always.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

giopski: What makes you think that Jesus yearned for His Father's help. What makes you think that Jesus wanted Our Father to either ease or end the suffering before or after he hung on the cross? Jesus being God, though in the flesh at this point in time, volunteered to undertake what the Father deemed necessary for the redemption of mankind from sin.

The only thing Jesus did not want to have to see or face was His Father Almighty God turn his back on His son as he hung there in sin and in shame.

That is the exact pain and suffering that those who die without accepting Jesus as God and Lord and Redeemer will face when hurled into the "Lake of Fire" on the last day. Never ever to beable to see and feel the love of God our Father.


giopski profile image

giopski 4 years ago from Oakland, California Author

I don't know if you were reading this article in toto or that I was giving you the wrong notions, but as you can see in the 3rd paragraph I mentioned: "And so, when Jesus said: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit!” He was not actually crying for his Father to save Him. His was actually a cry of forgiveness and healing for humanity."

One thing is for sure, he was hesitant to take the cup of suffering in his human side but ultimately followed the will of the Father. FYI, the Father did not turn His back on His Son. It's the entire mystery of the Cross. Though cruel as it may be to bear that His Son should suffer but that's the best way to show how God loves us by being able to immerse himself in our humanity and to suffer that all may have life to the full.

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