The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

Holy Week

Date: 
Tue, 04/11/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Things are going terribly wrong for Jesus. 
He was put on the most wanted list of the Jewish leaders. 
They decided to silence him…kill him.
One of his own is about to betray him.
And the one he has been preparing to oversee things once he was gone was about to deny him.
 
What was in Jesus’ heart as he was confronted with these realities?
No one knew what he knew….except the Father.
No one could see what he saw….except the Father.
No one could accomplish what he was sent to accomplish.  No one else was qualified.
If he didn’t carry through with the plan….who knows?
There was no one to relieve him of the responsibility.
There was no one to stand in his place.
 
Yet no one understood this.   Not even his closest companions. 
They had no idea what was at stake.
They were unaware of the burden Jesus was carrying.
They couldn’t understand his distress, what was troubling his heart.
They were aware something was bothering him.  They were concerned.
They did some reconnaissance seeking some insight, some additional information.
But they remained in their world…unable to comprehend Jesus’ world.
They could not fathom what Jesus was feeling.
They could remain with him physically but they could not comfort him.
No one could comfort him.
His world was crashing down before him….and no one could comfort him.
 
Empathy is defined as “…the capacity for and the act of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another…” 
 
The disciples did not have the capacity to empathize with Jesus.
 
At this point in his life,  I would dare say he was the loneliest man in the world.
 
We might be tempted to say to ourselves:  “I know what Jesus was feeling. 
I went through something similar myself.  If I was there I would have done this or said that.
I would have stayed at his side.  I would have even taken his place.”
This is arrogance.  This is pride.  This is fantasy.  This is human presumption.
 
We are the disciples.  We don’t have the capacity to empathize with Jesus.
So we remain in our innocent, self-constructed worlds.
We protect ourselves from pain that we don’t understand.
And when confronted by the reality of how humanity responded
to the presence of God in our midst, we close our eyes. 
We turn away. We run away.  We can’t bear to see. 
Sin and death are so ugly.  So repugnant.  We would rather not know.
We would rather continue thinking that we can rise above the ugliness, escape from its grasp,
save ourselves by ignoring, by repressing, by denying.
 
Even in the greatest of loneliness, Jesus presses on.  He does not abandon his mission.
His love for the Father and his love for humanity will not allow him.
We can’t even imagine such love.
But we can appreciate it.  Feel and express gratitude for it.  Receive it as gift and surrender to it.
 
Today’s prayer:  “O Lord, we stand helpless in our limitations.  As we contemplate the sacrifice of Jesus, Your Son, we are like infants, completely dependent upon their parents for protection from what is beyond our awareness and always will be.  Without You, we are lost. Even though at times we abandon You, our faith assures us, You never abandon us.  May the song of Your salvation be ever in our hearts.  Amen!”
 

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