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WEEKLY REFLECTIONS

~ The Sprouting Seeds of Passion in Bloom ~

The wind driven waves washed over the boat as life-hardened fishermen cried in fear.
“We are going to drown in this storm! Wake up the Master!”
The Master, the Lord, was oddly asleep in the bow.
In the calamity of noise from nature and man, the Master’s body slept soundly.

The Incarnate Word of the Creator, Lord of all creation, was at peace.
His resting Presence was not enough for the others.
“Wake up, Jesus! We are going to drown!”
How odd to believe your boat is going to sink with the Creative Word on board.

The Master of life and death got word that His friend, Lazarus, died.
“Let’s go now, and wake him.” “But, Lord, he’s dead. You waited too long.”
How foolish, how trite, how wayward are the judgments of humans
In the face of the Christ!

The throng of thousands hailed Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem.
How easy it is for humans to rally around a folk hero,
When there is nothing at stake.
The excitement of crowds is intoxicating.

A few days later, in Gethsemane, Jesus told His disciples,
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of dying. Keep watch with me.”
But they slept this time, as the Master agonized. Storms of nature kept them awake,
While they slept through the storms of hell that ravished their Lord.

“Father, I am drowning in the sins of humanity placed in Me. I am alone in this boat.
“Do not forsake Me. Is there another way to rescue them? All according to your will.
“Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths,
“Where there is no foothold. I looked for ones to grieve with me, but there was none.”

“Judas, go, do what you volunteered to do, even betrayal of Me with your kiss.
“Peter, don’t be so cocky. Before the cock crows at dawn, you will have denied Me.
“They cannot possibly take Me by force, they cannot possibly take my life.
“Rest assured, I am giving you all my life, so that you may live in Me.”

“A body you prepared for me; with burnt and sin offerings you were not pleased.
“Then I said, ‘Here I am – it is written about me in the scroll –
“I have come to do your will, O God’.”
“But I am a worm, and no man; I am the scorn of men and despised.”

His Passion was one of suffering, but, more so, one of loving.
His passionate love beckons to us, yet souls retreat, afraid of giving them up to God.
His fiery love made ashes of our sins, the love that burns to heal.
“Eat my body, drink my blood, consume my burning love, that longs to consume you.”

Ineffable, infinite love, penetrating into the abyss of humanity’s pain,
Set aflame the constellation of evil’s harboring.
We would carry the pain of our loved ones, suffering in their stead, if we could.
God did that for His loved ones, the whole world, dying under the burden of our sins.

“It is finished!” He cried. Fiery love infused all creation.
The earth shook, clouds darkened the sun, the veil of the Holy of Holies tore open.
The dead walked, drowsy eyes opened wide, His pierced heart baptized the earth,
With blood and water. The Master should not need to break down the doors of His creation.

The blood of Abel, shed by one man, cried from the earth for justice.
The blood of Christ, shed for all people, cried to the earth in forgiveness and mercy.
“You are free to be like Me!” Why be yourself when you can be Love’s brother and sister?
“Whatever you do or don’t do to the least of them, you do or don’t do to Me.”

How strange we cling to ourselves in fear and pride,
As Christ emptied Himself in humility and love, inviting us to drink deeply of both.
This is a vision beyond the grasp of mortals, without the ache of death of self,
A vision solidified in the form of an empty, crucified man.

The seeds of His passion were sown in our spirits, sprouting in the midst of our pain,
In our despair, our meaninglessness, longings, oppression and thirst for our God.
Feeling all of this and more in Gethsemane, He left to bear and die on our cross.
A crucified man next to Him died with Him, and lives with Him now, in paradise.

Such wild and prolific graces! Such wisdom in passion and pain!
I clean myself of the first Adam’s shame and sweat,
With the Last Adam’s love and blood.
Only in His blood is there immortal freedom and life.

Our earthly pilgrimage takes us through flower-speckled fields of light,
And through valleys darkened by death’s shadow.
The Creator’s rain falls on fields lush with both good and evil.
But we know the wheat and the weeds have different destinies.

“When I am lifted up, I will call all people to Me!” Was not His call loud enough?
Can people actually say His passion and crucifixion was not enough?
“No, I need a greater sign. He must appear so I can put my fingers into His wounds.”
If He did appear in human form today, people would just kill Him again.

He calls out from our cross, through our pain and misery, in our self-centered pursuits.
He calls out from the voiceless poor, the forsaken, the oppressed, the imprisoned.
He calls out above the din of wars declared in His name, and wars declared in the name
Of His enemies. People are incredibly deaf. His wounds are on our fingers.

“From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies,
To silence the foe and the avenger.” The thunder during a summer storm, the gurgling
Whispers of a forest stream, the call of birds to one another at dawn, the new life of
The springtime resurrection, call so loudly to those who quiet the self’s internal chatter.

The veil of the Holy of Holies was torn open, on earth and in the heavens.
Inside, our High Priest, the Christ, beckons us to His marriage feast.
Inside, His light is greater than a zillion suns. This light does not blind our eyes,
But fills our being with luminescent radiance, making us children of the light.

Is all this not a loud enough calling? Is His beckoning not somehow clear enough?
Was not His passion, death and resurrection enough? Can we want more from Him?
He emptied Himself of all, to restore all into Himself.
“When I go, I will send the Counselor, my Holy Spirit, to you.” Treasure of treasures!

He calls to us by name. We know His name. “’Because he loves me,’ says the Lord,
‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he knows my name. He will call upon me,
‘And I will answer him: Here I am! I will deliver him and honor him.
‘And show him my salvation.’”




John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
Spiritual Resource Services
~ Education, Research and Advocacy
   in the Christian Faith ~
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