MT. 26:14 – 27:66


On the cross, the prayer of Jesus was primarily and generally “silence.” Yes, he spoke what we now call the “seven last words.” But these words were no longer for preaching, no longer for teaching, no longer for proclaiming. These words were expressions of his surrender, his silent acceptance of incoming death and as special messages to chosen people around him. In general, Jesus’ last word on the cross was silence.


The Father too, was silent. His response to Jesus’ suffering and death was a confusing, bewildering silence. The Father was so quiet, that Jesus prayed: “Why have you abandoned me?” It was a great challenge for Jesus to deal with a Father who seemed far away, indifferent and unconcerned.


This Holy Week, we enter into profound silence to pray. In silence, we unite to the Lord our own crosses, our sufferings and deaths in this life. While we have survived the pandemic, suffering still surrounds the people of war-torn Ukraine, the persecuted Christians of Nigeria, and the refugees of Myanmar. 


We also offer to the Lord sufferings that only he and we know – our battle with sickness, our grief at the death of a loved one, our shattered dreams and ambitions, our bitter experiences in relationships, our grappling for meaning. We too say in our hearts: “Why have you abandoned me?”


What must be our response when like Jesus, we feel that God is silent, that he seems far away and that he does not hear our prayers? It seems fitting to reflect on 3 T’s as our response to this silence of God.


The first is Trial: Remember that trials are part of life and our present difficulties are not our final destination. We are in process, we are on pilgrimage. God allows trials to bring our attention back to him. And if we are faithful, he is even more faithful. Like all trials, these too, will end.


The second is Trust: While the Lord allows us to enter into the crucible of pain and suffering, he does not abandon us. On the Cross, in the midst of great loneliness, Jesus held on to the hands of the Father. He committed his spirit to the One he can truly trust. Trust that God has a plan for your life. Trust that this trial will soon end. Trust that though silent and unseen, the hand of God is at work.


The last one is Triumph: The last word on the cross was not defeat, destruction, and desolation. After the cross, comes the Resurrection. After every pain and suffering, comes glory! Like Jesus on Holy Week, we go through the dark tunnel of death only to emerge in the end in a place of light, of peace, and of lasting joy. Let us pray over these 3 T’s of Holy Week… (ourparishpriest 2023)