It is finished

A friend, Jesus' life was one continuous melody of love. For He gave His love, He gave His life to bring humankind back into harmony with His father's love. He had nothing more to give and so He prayed, "It is finished."

There were so many rich forms of sacrifice from the time of Abraham to the time of Jesus. During His life, Jesus participated in these acts of worship but during His passion and death, he gives each and every one of these acts of worship His own finishing touch. Let's recall them. Luke, in his gospel tells us that after the Last Supper, Jesus went where He usually went every night, into the garden to pray. As He prayed, He saw before Him all the sins of the world. He saw hatred, He saw greed, He saw lust. He saw malice of every kind and He also saw people being snatched away from His Father's love by the evil spirit. His sweat became like drops of blood and falling to the ground in anguish, He cried, "Father, remove this cup of suffering from Me. Not My will but Yours be done." This total surrender to His Father's will, this was his holocaust offering, an offering burned by the fire of the cross and lifted up to His Father. Is there greater love than this.

And all during Jesus' life He witnessed to nothing but peace and friendship. On the cross, He gave the gift of forgiveness to his enemies and the gift of paradise to the repentant thief. Through His passion and death, Jesus restored friendship between God and His people. Jesus was our peace offering. Is there greater love than this?

And now friends, look at the body of our crucified Lord. It's broken, battered, blood stained. This body of Christ looks like a sacrificial loaf of bread being transformed from bread of death to bread of life. This body which was engulfed in the fire of the cross, this body was Jesus' bread offering. Is there greater love than this?

Paul tells us that Jesus who knew no sin became sin for each and every on of us. For when He was lifted up upon the cross He took responsibility for each and every human sin and He felt the guilt of each and every sin. He felt as though He were the murderer, the adulterer, the liar, the man of violence and hate. Through His death our sins were expiated by the fire of His love. Is there greater love than this?

And now my friends, look at our crucified Lord again. Look at His body disfigured with blood. Jesus shed every drop of blood for us. He poured out the wine of His life into the cup of salvation for when it comes to loving us, Jesus holds nothing back. I like to say that Jesus, through His death on the cross, lifts high the cup of salvation, toasts His Father and says, "To You Father with all my love." And then He lifts high the cup of salvation again toasts humankind saying, "New life, new life for you with all my love. " This was Jesus' wine pouring ceremony. Is there greater love than this?

Jesus knits all these sacrifices together into one sacrifice, the perfect sacrifice, the sacrifice of His death on the cross. Now drained of all energy, He rests His head against the cross, bows His head and whispers, "It is finished."

Jesus goes willingly and silently to His death. Scripture says, "Like a lamb led to slaughter, Jesus utters not one word." My friends, this redemptive moment is wrapped in silence. Let us pause for a moment to reverence this redemptive moment.

When the conductor puts down his baton, the orchestra is silenced but the music it created can never be silenced.

When Jesus said" It is finished" the noise of the passion was silenced but the passionate love of our God can never, never be silenced.

And so my friends, the love song goes on.

Sr. Geraldine Calabrese, MPF
1997

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