Jesus willingly enters into His Passion for the salvation of mankind. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Gratitude so he can recognize and give thanks that Jesus died to save him personally and by building the Virtue of Hope so he can avoid despair and pray for the souls of those who commit suicide.
Holy Week – The Passion of Our Lord – Sunday – Cycle A – Mt 26:14-27:66
Jesus, the Son of God the Father, comes into the world for the salvation of mankind. In His Passion (Latin: passio, meaning “suffering”), Jesus completes His Father’s work by His sacrificial and redemptive death on the Cross to forgive sins, and establishes the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Jesus establishes the Sacrament of the Eucharist by mysteriously transforming the Passover Seder, a ritual meal which commemorated God’s deliverance of Israel from slavery by Egypt (Ex 12). At the Last Supper, which appeared to be a traditional Jewish Passover Seder, Jesus stuns the Apostles when He gives them His Body and Blood in the signs of bread and wine. Rather than end the Seder with the last ritual cup of wine, Jesus extends the ritual throughout His entire Passion until He is sacrificed as the Lamb of God on the Cross. Jesus completes the transformation of the Seder, when He sips wine from the Cross, a symbol of the last cup of the Seder, and dies (Jn 19:23-30).
The Passion narrative spans the depths of human suffering (betrayal, abandonment, anguish, torture, mocking, humiliation, a mother witnessing her only son’s death, extreme agony in death), but goes further: Jesus’ Passion includes His incomprehensible suffering of the effects of every human sin across all time. His dying words from the Cross, The Seven Last Words, provide men powerful guidance, including: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:43), is the model for responding to the evil injustices of life; “My God, why have you forsaken Me?” (Mt 27:46) is not confused desperation, but a code phrase for Jesus’ total victory (Ps 22), giving men a rallying cry and hope in times of suffering; Jesus’ gift, “Behold your Mother” (Jn 19:26-27), is a call for every Catholic man to commit to a devotion to His Holy Mother. God will convert the heart of a man who deeply meditates upon the Passion and make him a true disciple of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be astounded by the mysterious actions of the Son of God and Divine Priest in the Passion: He transforms the 1200-year-old annual ritual of the Passover, becoming the sacrificial Lamb of God in a New Passover by which men can be saved from eternal death; He incorporates the ancient Jewish rituals of thanksgiving (Greek – eukharistos) and establishes the Sacrament of the Eucharist; He continues to supernaturally feed Catholics at every single Mass through the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the True Presence of His glorified Body and Blood.
Be grateful that Jesus died to save you personally
Realize: Jesus willingly died for the sins of all mankind and for the sins of each man personally.
Believe: Reflect upon The Passion (CCC 571-637).
Pray: Jesus, Crucified Christ, help me grow in the Virtue of Gratitude (a part of Justice), so I joyfully give thanks to You for dying for my sins and show my gratitude by using every moment to grow in holiness.
Hope in God and be protected from suicide
Realize: In stark contrast to Jesus’ complete trust of the Father during His Passion, Judas lacks hope, falls into despair, and commits suicide, a grave sin which breaks The 5th Commandment.
Believe: Reflect upon Sin of Despair (CCC 2091) and the grave sin of Suicide (CCC 2280-2283, 2325).
Pray: Jesus, Giver of Life, help me build the Virtue of Hope so I never despair to the point of suicide and always trust in Your Justice and Mercy for the poor souls who have killed themselves.