I found Chapter 5 of Bishop Cottrell’s Lent book, Forsaken, challenging. There is such a vast depth of faith contained within that I struggle to assimilate it all in my mind in the shorter term. I will need to return to this chapter a few more times to fully appreciate the depth of knowledge.
But the two things that instantly resonated within me and captured the essence of the Easter season are:
- God and Jesus’ love and pain were entirely suffused as Jesus died on the cross.
- They displayed their ultimate love for us as they both suffered to change the order of things and offer us the opportunity of eternal life.
My Reflection on what this means for us today
The terrible suffering on the cross opened the door of heaven to us.
The love and pain that Jesus and God experienced at this time provide us with a template for living and being fully human as we were created to be. Because we were born to love, a life without love would not be worth living, but we must expect to experience pain alongside love.
Many Bible verses urge us to allow God to lead us in his wisdom, and the Blessed Virgin Mary, with her acceptance of God’s will, was probably the greatest example of this.
When we let go of the desire to control everything and allow God to lead, we can overcome even the most incredible pain in life and can go on to achieve our full potential in Christ.
I can testify to the truth of this as I have experienced my fair share of grief and disaster in life. But always when I have, sometimes reluctantly, chosen the way of Christ to react, I have grown through the experiences.
I have also observed other people who have been broken on the cross of life, gradually becoming renewed when they chose to follow Jesus.
So I know, without a shadow of doubt, that living the way Jesus taught can truly transform our lives today and also offers the hope of eternal life.
But I can only imagine what it will be like when the door to heaven is opened to me and I finally come face to face with Jesus.
Archbishop Cottrell’s book ‘Godforsaken’ is available online or from your local bookshop.