As we enter into Holy Week, let’s focus on the humanity of Jesus. Too often, we think only of the divinity and we lose appreciation of what Jesus went through. It is almost like we see a person drifting through time, being a part of it but yet not being affected by it.

He lived and died. He smiled, laughed, and cried. He was amazed at other people’s goodness. And, He was saddened by their heartlessness and cruelty to others. Yes, He was truly human, experiencing all of the emotions that you and I feel.

Yesterday, we celebrated His processional entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey as people laid down palm branches before Him. From here, however, it is all going to go downhill, speaking in human terms. How could there be such a turnaround in so short a period of time? Such is the fickleness of mankind. We, all of us, are swayed by the winds of change very easily. One moment, we are ready to go into battle behind our leader. “Peter saith to him: Yea, though I should die with thee, I will not deny thee.”-1    And the next moment, “But he began to curse and to swear, saying; I know not this man of whom you speak.”-2  One moment we are singing out, “Hosannas” and the next moment we are shouting, “Crucify Him”.

In spite of all of this capricious vacillation on our part, Jesus’ love never ceases. It is like He is looking at us, as He would His little children. He knows we mean well, but are not strong enough to stand behind our convictions. He is as human as we are. He understands. In the garden of Gethsemane, near the Kedron brook,

His human body was racked with fear and trembling. He prayed, “Father, if it is possible let this pass from me.” He was human. He didn’t want the pain and torture that was coming, any more than you or I would. His agony is so complete that He sweats blood. And yet, in the end, He acquiesces. “Not my will, but yours be done”.

It is this humanity that we must focus on, during this time. There are many things in our lives that are disdainful, are torturous; we wish to flee, to avoid. There are so many situations that we want to undo, to correct, but we cannot. It is necessary, at times, for us to recognize that some challenges are meant to be faced. Instead of fleeing, of running from them, it is necessary for us to stop and turn and face them. We must recognize them for what they are, namely, times of trial that are meant to shape us, and prepare us for the next plateau. God willingly and lovingly allows these times in our lives. Through them we can feel God’s presence and grow closer to Him. Without them, we remain anchored in one place, never getting any closer to our God. It is difficult but necessary for us to voice the words, “Not my will, but yours be done”.

-1 Mark 26, 35

-2 Mark 14, 71

 

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