“HOW OFTEN HAVE I longed to gather my children into one communion with me? But they refused. And now these women weep for me. I mourn for them and their sorrows that will come. My dear child, you can really be more gentle. You

too can be kind.” Each time

 I hear these words I feel deeply touched. 

“O Lord, what is man that you should be mindful of him, a mere mortal that you should care for him” Ps 144:3. Of all God created, he loves human being most, hence, he gave us preference over other creatures. But our disobedience which started from our first parents, Adam and Eve created unnecessary gap between God and man. Jesus came to bridge this gap and bring us back to the Father who loves us more than we love ourselves but often times, we try to cut off from him. 

The Psalmist pleaded with God saying, “Do not cast me away from you presence, nor deprive me of your Holy Spirit.” God spoke to men through the prophets and they did not listen to him. He led the Israelites through the Red Sea on a dry land, and in the wilderness they disobeyed him. God provided water for them from the rocks and gave them manna from heaven. Yet, they prolonged 40 days journey to 40 years because of their disobedience. What a patient God we have!    

When they missed Moses for a little while, they said to Aaron, “Make for us gods to go before us; as for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him” and they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and rejoiced in the works of their hands.” Acts 7:40-41. You do not have to serve God and mammon at same time: you are either for Christ or against him. “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” Lk. 11:23.

In his love for man, God sent his only begotten Son to live among us in the form of man to enable him draw us closer to himself. Among his works, Jesus fed 5000 men besides women and children. He healed the man born blind. These and many more are enough for the Jews and Greeks to believe in him.  Rather, they saw the preaching of the crucified Christ as scandal and nonsense. “I have told you but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name proclaim who I am, but you do not believe because as I said, you are not my sheep” Jn. 10:25-26.

Men lied against Jesus and crucified him right before the Father, our Father who watched the event painfully. Yet Jesus pleaded with the Father to forgive us because men did not know what they were doing. Father, each time we stray from your way, please forgive us for we know not what we are doing.

You cannot die for somebody you do not love. So, let us love Jesus in return and love our neighbors too. In our response, at the 8th Station, we say, “Lord, teach me. Help me to learn, when I would snap at those who hurt me with their ridicule, those who misunderstand me, those whom I think hinder my progress with some misguided helpfulness, those who intrude upon my privacy, those who restrict my freedom and liberty. Then help me curb my tongue. May gentleness become my cloak.” And so shall it be, in Jesus’ Name!

Like the father of a prodigal son, Jesus waits with open arms to receive us and present us to the Father who sent him to gather us. He is the way, the truth and life; no one comes to the Father except through him. The way of the cross is not easy but if we journey with the Lord, we shall succeed it. He has said “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also” Jn. 12:26.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You murder the prophets and stone those sent to you by God. How often would I have gathered your children as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, yet you refused! I tell you that you will no longer see me until you

say: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Mt.23:37, 39.

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