Friday, April 15, 2011

Morning Prayer

As we approach Holy Week, the readings of the Liturgy of the Hours are pointedly about the trials that Jesus would endure in His Passion.  Today in Morning Prayer, we read from Isaiah 52:14, “so marred was his look beyond that of man, and his appearance beyond that of mortals.”

Again, we are given to consider the state of the human soul in sin through a corporeal image; that of Christ’s body marred beyond recognition in appearance as a man, having taken the burden of all of human sin upon His body.  Not only is the torture to which He was subjected by humanity an expression of human sin, but the very marks, punctures and gouges themselves etch the story of human sin upon His flesh for all to see.  Furthermore, His death is a result of this very thing, which His suffering also makes clear for us.  That is, that sin leads to suffering and death.

Now, what else occurred during Christ’s suffering and dying?  Pain.  Pain, we must imagine, beyond all pain, for indeed His suffering and death was meant to atone for the sins of all humankind for all time.  And for that magnitude of atonement and expiation, the pain, to accomplish its purifying work, must be exceedingly excruciating, and encompass all manner of human suffering.          

As we are each touched in our own way by suffering, and with Lyme disease it is that we suffer in every manner of human suffering, not only in the body but emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually as well, we find in Jesus one who has known our affliction.  In His trials we are given to see some element of our own, and in our own, if we seek Him, we shall find Christ in the midst of them with us.

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