Now, he lies in the tomb, dead as a doornail after being nailed on the cross. The apostles have all scurried and been scattered: lost, confused and very fearful for their own lives. This is not how it is supposed to end. Just a few days earlier, he entered Jerusalem in triumph and now this. They must all been wondering, “Is this what we left everything for to follow him? A shameful and horrific ending?”
Did Jesus die in vain? I look around today and I see decency buried in endless scandals and wrongdoings. Principles have also been nailed to the cross, observed more in their breach than in their keeping. Where is Christ’s commandment of love and his message of forgiveness and compassion? And I am party to this disappointing situation. I should be contributing to making the world a better place; but I often find myself adding to the pain and suffering – in myself and in others.
Yet, this is the person who upended their lives, changing them all for the better. They were moved and inspired by his words. Their mouths were agape at the wondrous deeds he performed. Their hearts burned with love and compassion as he sent them out in pairs to proclaim his gospel and the coming of the kingdom.
Yes, I too have been changed. Many times and in many ways. By him. I thought I have left everything for his sake. He gave me so much back in return. He brought me to places and people I could never have imagined for myself. He led me along paths that seemed dangerous; and he always brought me through.
Yet, here was a man who was not afraid to proclaim his love for his friends, his followers. On his last night with them, he served them and washed their feet in humility. Then, he left them his commandment of love. He promised to be with them always. So was he a failure? Not when you see what the twelve have done and left behind. They all suffered persecution and most died martyrs for their faith in him, their blood becoming the seed of the Church.
I feel frightened and scared when I hear Jesus proclaim his love for me. He speaks often with actions and only sometimes with words. The things that have happened and been happening in my life have been proof enough that Christ is with me. The blessings I and my loved ones have received speak volumes of his love and care for us. It scares me to think how present he really is in my life. And they are times, I would have goose bumps just realizing how close he is.
What sometimes scare me is the question: what will he ask for in return? He doesn’t. He loved us first and unconditionally. His love does not need to be repaid. He just wants the best for me, not seeking anything in return. It would be utterly shameless and unfeeling of me not to respond.
Don’t you think it’s rather funny, I should be in this position.
I’m the one who’s always been So calm, so cool, no lover’s fool,
Running every show. He scares me so.
I never thought I’d come to this. What’s it all about?
Yet, if he said he loved me, I’d be lost. I’d be frightened.
I couldn’t cope, just couldn’t cope. I’d turn my head. I’d back away.
I wouldn’t want to know. He scares me so.
I want him so. I love him so.