Thought of the Day October 10, 2017 Three levels of separation

By 1:50 PM

For Jesus there were several levels on which he experienced this separation on the cross. The greatest of these was the sense of abandonment by the Father in the midst of his greatest moment of need. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me" (Mk 15:34)? In praying Psalm 22 Jesus expressed the depth of his anguish and the height of his trust. Lacking all spiritual consolation, including the tangible love of the Father on the human level, Jesus embraced this reality as part of the gift of himself to the Father for our sakes.

The second level of separation of affections occured in his relationship with his Mother, Mary. "Seeing his mother there with the disciple whom he loved, Jesus said to his mother, 'Woman, there is your son.' In turn he said to the disciple, 'There is your mother.' From that hour onward, the disciple took her into his care'" (Jn 19:26-27). To complete the total gift of himself to the Father, Jesus heeded his own words to the disciples. He let go even the most natural human relationship--that between a mother and her son. There was no denial of this bond, just the acknowledgement that the greatest bond is between him and God.

The third level of separation of affections was the realization and acceptance that those he had personally chosen as his disciples and companions--except for John and the a handful of faithful women disciples--had abandoned him when he needed their presence and support the most. Instead he is surrounded by those who called for his death and mocked him even to the end. The very friends he said earlier that he was going to lay down his life for and was doing that on the cross were no where to be seen. Did Jesus also recall Psalm 41 at this point? "Even my friend who had my trust and partook of my bread has raised his heel against me" (Ps 41:9).

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