Nobody is ever written off by Jesus

The passion today starts with the last Supper and the meal of friendship and the way to remember Jesus forever. Judas has a big place in this. It ends with the good thief. With sin, betrayal, injustice, and in the middle of it all is love. Total and compassionate love.

The passion often presented too graphically. All on Jesus’ mind when he was suffering was us and love. The films don’t do it right – the events we have heard are pictures of love in the middle of betrayal and injustice. Mixture of people who want his death – but nobody seems to think he is guilty. Jesus was the innocent one – everyone in Luke’s gospel said that —– the thief, the centurion, Pilate and Herod. But they were caught in trying to save their own skin and their institutions. People still suffer because people are looking after themselves to the suffering of others.

It still goes on…..Still being betrayed in the starvation of the children; in the torture of the brave who fight for the poor; in the violence and abuse in home, school or church; in all that is unnecessary suffering, Jesus still suffers.

He suffers too in our inability to forgive, to understand, to see the bigger picture that love sees. We are tough on the sinner and even on the good people who do wrong. We don’t give second chances like God does. Is our church now failing in compassion, forgiveness and in following the God of the second chance, like for the thief? We are invited here to consider the love behind every moment of the passion – the love of God. We are invited to soften our judgements and give the second chance as Jesus did.

Nobody is ever written off by Jesus. Love for all. The first word of Pope Francis’ motto is mercy. May we live by this.

The gospel today give us more questions than answers but gives a meaning and direction and hope to everything we suffer, ponder and struggle within our lives.

Donal Neary SJ,

Download Parish Newsletter 20th March 2016