Reflection“We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses” (Heb 4:15)
On December 18, 2014, many of us had the privilege to witness the ordination of Lino Oropeza to the priesthood for the Society of Saint Edmund. This was a privilege granted to us not because of the generous space available in our Chapel. Rather, it lay in the gift of being present to the beauty of the ceremony and to the power of Bishop Terry Lavalley’s message to the community gathered there that day. Bishop Lavalley spoke of the priesthood as a total gift and sacrifice of the person to Christ. Yet it was not without joy that he spoke of the wondrous service foreshadowed in Lino’s ministry.
The Good Friday reading from St. John’s Gospel also makes transparent the noble—even glorious—sacrifice Jesus accomplished even in His Passion. How ironic that the voices of the “high priests” and “chief priests”—which figure so prominently (at least eleven times) before Jesus dies—should go mute once the true priest, Jesus, delivers Himself up as God's ultimate gift of love for humankind!
In St. Paul we read: [T]hough [Jesus] was in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, He emptied Himself…and found human in appearance, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2: 6—8). Meister Eckhart echoes Paul in stating: “To get at the core of God at His greatest, one must get into the core of Himself at his least.” Indeed, in Him we have one who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses.
PrayerGracious God, grant us the grace to know You more dearly in Jesus’ sacrifice of love. May the Holy Spirit of our own baptismal priesthood unite us to His sacrifice. We make our prayer in the name of the same Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
Fr. Marcel Rainville, S.S.E. ’67, Edmundite Campus Ministry
ScriptureFirst Reading: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25
Second Reading: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel: John 18:1—19:42
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website