Passion (Palm) Sunday, April 1, 2007

Isaiah 50: 4 - 7

Philippians 2: 6 - 11

Luke 22: 14 - 23:56

Jesus, the Suffering Servant

Isaiah has us hear the voice of the faith servant who has been taught to become a disciple. His attitude is both a gift and an act of consent. The word to which he has turned his ear and from which he has not hidden is a word that has been lived; for he has not reacted to the violence imposed on him. Not by cowardice or passivity, but on account of his trust in the God who saves him, with the will to make his face hard as stone , unchanged, like one who has not been disfigured by the evil endured and is not ashamed of his powerlessness. Thus he is not confounded or overcome by evil.

Jesus fulfills the image of the Servant of God. He nourished himself on the Scriptures of his People and meditated them. In the Scriptures, he listened for the voice of the Father. He listened to the world also. He exemplifies the humility of the Son who receives his very being from the Father and places all his trust in him. Jesus life had not been scripted beforehand. Saint Paul reminds us of this when he says that he emptied himself and took the form of a servant. He became like men and was recognized as a man by his way of acting, by his liberty. He learned through experience that the word he preached, when stripped of the privileges of power, is in a certain way powerless. He renounced all power and renounced saving his own life by the use of violence. In the Gospel, at the moment of the crucifixion, Jesus prays : Father, forgive them for they know not what they do . These word speak of the divine plan and of human recalcitrance. We see the total liberty of Jesus with regard to his death. He does not revolt and does not let his life be taken; he gives it himself. The way is open for all those who want to be taught faith in a good God who will not let evil have the last word.

-- Sr. Sophie Ramond, R.A.