Monday, March 9, 2015

Lenten Sacrifices

Mt 26: 31-46   The Agony in the Garden
I can imagine Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Olives, and why it was agony:
Really, Father?  Is this what You want?  Is there no other (easier) way?  I have lived with these people, and through Me You have seen them; are they really worth this much of Your love?
 I know how big Your love is, but still, this won’t be easy.   But I also know that You are with Me.  I know My sacrifice will also be Your sacrifice, and we will do this thing together. 
I often wrestle with what is mine to give, and hesitate to part with it; by His sacrifice He showed me the relative importance of my decision.  He gave up everything; I wrestle with giving up a pittance.  Having lived as a man, He understands my sadness with giving, but He opens my heart to see the difference between the giving of things as I do, and giving love as He did.  He brings me to a recognition that true giving is a form of loving, a “giving of self,” ---- and of not counting the cost. 
He helps and encourages my giving by showing me how much good my “sacrifices” will do.  And He helps me see that He willingly sacrificed so much more.  He helps me see how worthy in His eyes are those for whom I would sacrifice.  But what did He see there in the Garden, as He considered His sacrifice?  …… He saw me.  And He deemed me worthy of such a huge sacrifice.
And I wondered:  Would I choose to give up so much, for someone like me? 
He showed me what should drive my giving and loving: not seeking some huge good in a person to deem them worthy, but finding a little good, and saying they are still worth my love.  Real love is giving to those who, from many angles, might seem less, but by giving them love elevating their worth …. in their own eyes, and helping them see their value in God’s eyes.
I’ve heard people say to someone doing a good act:  “Well, that’s mighty big of you.”  They don’t realize how true their words are.  And they don’t realize that their words might be those of God, looking down on us, and how we love ---- like a father looking down on his child and saying: “Well, you’re acting almost like a grown up, --- like Me.”

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