Stained Light

A reflection for 2020

 

When I was at junior school, one particular hymn from our pre Easter morning assembly always stuck in my mind – ‘There is a green hill, far away’.  Verse 2 especially: ‘we may not know, we cannot tell, what pain he had to bear.  But we believe it was for us he hung and suffered there’.

 

It hurt me (still does) to think of Jesus suffering so much, and that the human race (myself included) was the cause.  What hurts even more is that, 2000+ years on from all that Jesus showed us during His earthly ministry, and His

agonising death on the cross, His life and teachings are often, in many places, widely overlooked, and His name is uttered only as a vile profanity.  Our world remains as broken as ever…………..

 

In Jesus’ own words: ‘whoever has seen me has seen the one who sent me’ (John 12:45).  God has told us that we are made in His image (Genesis 1:26).  How, then, have we allowed that image within us to become so overlooked and so marred?  Jesus came and lived amongst us, took on our humanity, and endured physical and mental agony to pay the price for our darkness.  And STILL the world is broken.  Have we, the human race, learned nothing?

 

Let us pause for a moment, and thank Jesus for everything, and to reflect on this Lenten message from Archbishop Oscar Romero:

 

‘People do not mortify themselves during Lent out of a sick desire to suffer.  God did not make us for suffering.  If we fast, or do penances or pray, it is for a positive goal – by overcoming self, we achieve the Easter resurrection.  We do not celebrate a risen Christ distinct from us, but during Lent we prepare ourselves to rise with Him to a new life, and to become the new people that are what the world needs right now’.  (Quoted in ‘The Violence of Love’ by Oscar Romero).