On Good Friday, the Jesuits of Great Britain invite us to consider Jesus, on the cross, his divinity hidden from our eyes.
As I listened to the reflection, I realized that I found this chosen ‘hiddeness’ deeply troubling. O Saving Victim, why did you find it necessary to conceal your power and glory from us – if even only for a few hours as you hung on the cross?
Why did you conceal it – not just from us – but from the human beings you cherished most in this life? Why did you hide your impending victory-over-death from your own mother…and from the disciple whom you loved? Why, in your goodness, could you not find a way to keep their hearts from breaking?
Why, O Lord? Why?
And the more I wrestled with the question, the more I realized just how disturbing that word – why – can be.
In a sense, it is at the very heart of our broken spiritual condition as human beings. In times of pain or suffering, we always want to know why. We cannot suppress the hiss of the serpent in our ear: ‘Eat of this fruit and you will be just like Gods…’
Even though we are God’s children, it is so very hard for us to believe that God has only good things in mind for us, that it all belongs, that all things work together for good.
And so, while on the cross, Jesus hides his divinity from us – as if to give us one last (and very crucial) lesson about our relationship with God: ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit…’
Jesus says to his mother…and to the disciple(s) whom he loves: ‘Trust God.’
‘Lose your need to know every answer…lose your very self – alongside Me – through the very crosses you bear.’
‘Change your heart…master this movement in your life…and soon you will be with me in paradise.’