Sunday, April 1, 2012

Six Hours

I enter each Holy Week wondering if God will share something new with me.  

If He will move me even more than He did the year before. 

If, despite reading the same passages multiple times, year after year, He will open my eyes to something I've missed.

By now, I should know the answer.

Of course He will ... assuming I'm ready to listen.

This year while listening to Mark's Gospel, I realized how little attention I've paid to Jesus' time on the cross.

I've written before about the suffering Our Savior endured during his beatings, and how unbearable it must have been to watch.  (Especially knowing our sins did that to Him.)

But two phrases from Mark popped out at me this weekend.  

Nine o'clock.  And three o'clock.

That is how long Christ suffered on the cross.  

It goes by so fast when we read it the Gospels, doesn't it?  Our Lord moves from Crucifixion to turning down wine to death in a few short sentences, while our minds quickly move to the Resurrection and endless Thank Yous.  

But those six hours must have been brutal.  There are plenty of resources that explain the pain of crucifixion, but a common phrase used to describe it is "unending, excruciating, agonizing pain."

For six hours.

That is the length of two baseball games.  Or six Masses.  Or twelve, half-hour sitcoms.  Heck it's almost a full work day.

It's such a powerful example of His love for us.  

And I've been shortchanging it for years.

I hope each of you has a similar, eye-opening, Blessed Holy Week.

P.S.  Bonus Exercise:  Check the clock right now.  Set an alarm for six hours from now.  Then think of everything you did during that time, and imagine that instead, you were nailed in one spot ... in more pain than you have ever felt for every second of it.

(Note: There are 21,600 of them)


Victor S E Moubarak said...

Wow ... I never thought of it that way. You're right. We don't notice the six hours when reading the Gospel.

Thank Michael for pointing this out.

God bless you. Prayers for you this Holy week.

Shirley said...

I was thinking about the Gospel reading at Mass this morning and I too was looking for something that I usually just don't think about. The part that got me was the part about the "certain young man followed him" clothed in just a linen cloth, and they took hold of the cloth, and he ran off naked- isn't that just like us, following Jesus, clothed in our attachment to the world, and running away from Jesus if we are threatened with losing the worldly things we are accustomed to- comfort, position, health, money, power...

Unknown said...

We hear these Gospel accounts so often that it is easy to become desensitized to all that is happening in them. Thanks for getting to the heart of this one, Michael.
Have a blessed Holy Week.

Anonymous said...

What an extremely powerful and moving post, Michael. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for pointing this out. And thank you for all of your thought-provoking posts each week. You are truly a blessing to all of us!
Have a Blessed Holy Week.

Daily Grace said...

I never thought of this before in just this way. Thank you.

Michael said...

Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments! God Bless all of you!