The Forsaken Son of God
Palm Sunday Mass, Year A
Palm Sunday, Year A
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Don’t you wonder why Jesus said these words? Was He abandoned by His Father? Was He left there point blank helpless without any consolation? What happened to the Father, who proudly called Him, His beloved Son? What happened to the Father, who walked with Him throughout His ministry? What happened to the Father whom He prays before embarking on a mission? What happened to the “I AM” for all eternity?
One of the deepest pains we can encounter in life is when we are abandoned, rejected, taken for granted or worse, left to die! Many of our brothers and sisters who contracted COVID-19 has experienced the same amount of pain, or probably, more painful than what any of us, in good health, has experienced. To them, the world has ended. The world is cruel. They have been abandoned not only by the government but by their families! There is no point in moving on with life. Surely, it is a life free from happiness and peace.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Imagine Jesus, crying out these very words out loud, helpless, in pain, and in sorrow. He was and is God, His Father could have done something and yet, He was abandoned and that 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.
The main goal of St. Matthew’s account of the Passion is to increase our faith and to bring us to believe in Jesus Christ as Son of God, the Messiah and King. Amidst the conspiracy of the ruling powers like Caiaphas and Pilate getting rid of Him as a political threat, Jesus’ kingship prevailed conquering even death itself. In this account of the passion, we find meaning in our own struggles to fight for the truth, in spiritual healing which people of today truly needs. Healing from a “death-oriented society”; healing from doubts and confusion with regards our faith; and healing from useless anxieties caused by the dreaded COVID-19. And so, when Jesus said: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” He was not actually crying for his Father to save Him nor was He crying for being abandoned or left alone by His Father. His was actually a cry of forgiveness and healing for humanity. To let go of his mortal body in order that our own bodies may find salvation. The big question that we can therefore ask ourselves is this: “If Christ conquered death on 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 victory 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 (symbolized by the Palms used to welcome Jesus upon entry to Jerusalem). It is to accept our cross even if it means a painful and sad death.
And so, putting Jesus’ cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” to my own life, I too, will remember the very day when I was the weakest. The very day when I thought, there was no hope and so expose my vulnerability. And though I may feel abandoned or forsaken, I know deep inside of me that I am LOVED, CHERISHED, and ADORED by God. God forsook Jesus on the cross because God would not forsake all of us. God loves us so much to ever forsake us, and it was out of his love for us that Jesus, God in Christ, was forsaken in our place. This is the Good News, that in my own weaknesses, I can still find strength to carry on from a God who will never forsake me and will forever praise Him, “Hosanna to the King of Kings!” Amen.