April 22nd, 2018
“ This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.”
As the Scripture passage says, “A good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” Those who have to “shepherd” people through life understand all too well the sacrifices they are called to make.
Be they heads of churches, parents of families, social workers, people in positions of public trust, or one of the many other situations in which one person has to care for others, we recognize the sacrifices they make. Jesus makes a sacrifice of the greatest significance. He becomes something he was not. He was God, and becomes “enfleshed” and empties himself of his divinity and takes a human nature like ours. He becomes our “brother” and, as such, he offers his life for us in the Father’s name, so that the Father of all can show his willingness to even die for his children.
Jesus lays down his life in order to be able to take it up again, to show that what we fear most in life, our “end”, our “dissolution”, is in reality a point of transformation.
We are used to seeing surface transformations in life. We see the “plain Jane” reworked in a beauty; we see a dumpy house remodeled into a “mansion”; we see polluted land, purified. These all remind us that change is a part of life, but none mark as profound a change as does Jesus’ Resurrection. This event marks a change in understanding what “life” is. More than flesh and blood, or material experiences, life is a participation in the very being of God in whom life never ends!