The preface used by our celebrant this morning seemed completely unfamiliar to me, I've never given much thought to the prefaces, is there a pattern to how priests select them in Ordinary Time, I wonder?
But I've been dwelling, of late, on suffering, and how no soul seems to escape it, everyone has his "passion" to undergo, not only Christ, not only great saints...
So God-With-Us endured not just His own, but each of ours.
He chose, not just to suffer, but to share our suffering.
For out of compassion for the waywardness that is ours, He humbled himself and was born of the Virgin; by the passion of the Cross He freed us from unending death.Who could have imagined such a thing? that a creator would do this for his creations?
To have "compassion" - to suffer with.
Do we, can we, eve take on others' pain?
Does Christ's compassion for us not demand that we try?
But isn't waywardness an odd thing for Him to have seen in us and chosen to suffer with us?
We don't perceive waywardness as suffering, do we?
Doesn't the word summon up thoughts of a kind of footloose free-spiritedness, a desirable independence?
Doesn't contemporary man usually look on rebellion against, say, parental authority as a not only admirable, but more or less necessary break from childish submission?
Thinking outside the box, making up your own mind, learning to trust your own judgement, deciding for yourself what's right and what's wrong - those are all good things, doncha think?
I mean, yeah, you might make the occasional misstep, but no biggie...
You certainly will not die, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, who know good and evil.When you get down to brass tacks, waywardness is just another form of pride.
And like all sin, pride separates us from the Father.
And that is what the Son chose to suffer for us, beyond the physical agony - separation from the Father WITH WHOM HE WAS ONE.
Can you imagine the desolation of the Three Days?
And yet that is what He did for me and you.
Thinking of it in that way makes it mighty hard to brush off any deviating from the pathway, to forget that even minor excursions on my part contribute to the weight of His cross.
Out of compassion for the waywardness that is ours, He humbled himself and was born of the Virgin; by the passion of the Cross He freed us from unending death, and by rising from the dead, He gave us life eternal.