The Passion of Jesus as “suffering” is described in the gospel in just a few chapters preceded by his passion for his Abba, for his people, for every human being and for life.
Jesus is a passionate person who does not measure efforts, words, gestures, confrontations, weariness, to express with all his being the passion of his life: to return to each human being his/her deepest identity. Hierin Jesus invites each of us to acknowledge oneself as a child of God and what that entails.
Why “return”? Because that identity is taken away from us many times in the name of the nation, of culture, even of religion, and is replaced by oppression, the supposed common good, servility.
Not knowing, not being aware of our true identity is what makes us suffer and provokes suffering around us, in so many aspects of life.
We are lucky to live in an historical moment when we are told that we are the only beings on the planet who are aware that “we are conscious”. We are the consciousness of the Universe and that implies an enormous responsibility as well as incalculable possibilities.
To see life in all of its fullness we have to see it both from the macrocosm and from the microcosm. What happens to us on a personal level translates to the planet and the Cosmos.
From the first years of our childhood, we feel what others do not like about us and we hide it, creating at the same time a mask with which we identify ourselves. We convince ourselves that now, with the mask, others will like us and will admit us. (Our ego).
The vast majority of people go through life at the hands of this tyrant, “the ego”, who makes us suffer and makes others suffer because the ego is never satisfied nor happy; the ego rejoices in somebody else´s suffering, and, even demands from others what (s)he is not capable of giving nor sharing.
Our unconscious houses the pain caused by this lack of acceptance of ourselves, while at the same time, housing our identity, capacities, qualities…
If we want to grow, recover, we must submerge into our interior and “gain ground” to the unconscious: to rescue everything which constitutes us deeply. This task is not easy and cannot be superficial: WE HAVE TO REBUILD AND INHABIT OUR OWN SELVES.
Only from a solid base of love are we able to face life. If there is a lack, the person’s entire attention is focused there; even altruism may be used as an escape. If there is no healthy self-esteem there is a need for recognition and a feeling of guilt; and that tendency to perfectionism is but the flip-side of guilt and the feeling of unworthiness. The worst part of this, is that we project that dissatisfaction onto others, and blame them for our lack of happiness.
How many of us identify with these feelings! How many nooks and crannies are there where the light has not yet entered! So, we call that dark part our shadow. We must gain ground to the unconscious that occupies 80% of us. To be comfortable with ourselves, we have to integrate and reconcile those aspects which we had denied and rejected, and seek not perfection, but rather a sense of ‘being complete’, an altogether very different attitude.
We must accept our truth so as not to condemn it when we see it in others. We must learn not to project upon others what we don’t like about ourselves. GROW UP TO BE COMPLETE, HUMBLE AND COMPASSIONATE.
This is what Jesus found discovered throughout his life, and, in a more concrete way in those people who were, unwittingly, weaving unconsciously his passion and death.
“Forgive them Lord, because they do not know what they are doing” does not exempt anyone from responsibility. Living in ignorance has very strong implications.
Both the disciples of Jesus and the religious and political leaders of his time represent cowardice, silence, fundamentalism; they believed that they were guarantors of the only truth. Their hypocrisy killed Jesus and continues to kill all innocent life.
After all, masks hide the truth and show the true face without fear or guilt.
That mask, that ego, that false self, is the one who has to die, but if we do not know our true being, we cannot even think about “ending” that which has sustained our whole life.
Life is complex and began because there were a series of factors which came together in an unimaginable time, thousandths of a second, within circumstances where everything fit perfectly for the birth of the planet and for its evolution.
To make sense of existence, different peoples in different cultures have recounted a “story” that has lasted over time. We Christians have until recently believed that we had the only true story based on the Bible.
Theology of Salvation affirms that Jesus came to rescue us from sin, from death, through his death on the cross. It is through the cross that we have believed that all suffering could have a meaning from his suffering and his redemption. Jesus died for us and for our salvation, and, all our sins are forgiven because he bore all the blame.
Some modern theologies question that vision which places in us a feeling of insane guilt but it does not provide us with the tools for real change. A feeling of guilt in itself does not build anything, and, paralyzes the person.
Mystics and scientists provide us with a much healthier vision. The human person is not the culmination (as religion says) of Creation. Before humans appeared on earth, ecosystems functioned on their own and regulated each other.
Since our appearance on earth and especially in the last two hundred years we have been, in the name of progress, destroying the balance of the earth until exhausting its resources. If we do not consider other lifestyles, respecting the earth and following its rhythms, we surely are doomed to death and, before us, all those who are in much more precarious circumstances than our own.
It is difficult and very uncomfortable to situate ourselves from a new perspective taking globalism into account. We are no longer the navel of everything, and, precisely lately we are experiencing through a virus that has spread globally, that our entire “structure” may collapse with a small breath of wind.
We are at a point where we are given a choice between life and death; not only the physical life and death, but the life or death of our whole being.
There are so many initiatives requiring our care: the planet, life, animals and plants. Is not the challenge for us now to live “providing care for” instead of consuming and devastating…
“…is the same human being who threatens life and accelerates the sixth mass extinction, within which we already are. The aggression is so violent that more than a thousand species of living beings disappear each year, giving way to something worse than the Anthropocene, the Necrocene: the era of mass production of death. Since Earth and humanity are interconnected, death occurs massively not only in nature but also in humanity itself. Millions of people die of hunger, thirst, victims of war or social violence in all parts of the world.” Leonardo Boff in Coronavirus: Gaia’s Reaction and Retaliation? 2020-03-13
That shadow, the dark side which accompanies each one of us, has been lengthening until taking on enormous dimensions; we see it reflected in the pollution of rivers, in the over-exploitation of land by agriculture, in the waste which we send to third world countries because we no longer want it to be on our own land. The millions of people displaced and refugees due to senseless wars…
This overwhelming reality, does not happen outside of us. We are ONE with everything and with everyone. It is convenient for us to experience a lack of life as a consequence of our separation from Life. It is this profound disconnection that causes death: physical death, the death of interpersonal relationships, and the death of the meaning of life…
Today we meditate on the death of the Innocent One, upon His passion for Life. May silence help us enter into our own death.