By David Morson
As we make our journey through Lent this year we have been starkly confronted with the Corona virus outbreak which has made us all realise how precious life is for ourselves and for our loved ones. As I look out of my window at the lovely village where I live, I see that people are obeying rules that restrict our movements with self-isolating and social distancing in order to protect ourselves, our families and one another. Preserving as strongly as we can the most precious gift we have, the gift of life.
As we approach the events of Holy Week what paradoxically comes into my mind is that Jesus was willing to forgo His life, not easily, but willingly. He deliberately put Himself in harms way by going to Jerusalem in order to fulfil His Father’s will. This was not a reckless action, but a fulfilment of His purpose in coming among us. By dying, Jesus let go of the precious gift of life that we all hold so dear, so that He could reveal the totally unselfish, unconditional love that is the Father.
St John refers to Jesus’ crucifixion as revealing God’s “glory” or real essence to us. The Life of God is in unselfish sacrifice. The Father needed the Son’s willing obedience to make this evident to the world. By associating with Jesus’ sacnfice of His Life in the Holy Eucharist, we too share in the life of God. Our lives and the lives of our loved ones are the most precious gifts we have and rightly so. But, as St Paul focuses our minds in his Epistle to the Romans, we may be willing to give up our lives for a loved one or a good person, but Christ gave up His Life for all humankind, so that we might know the inclusive love of the Father for all of us.