GOD’S PRO-ACTIVE SILENCE IN THE PASSION
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As we enter into the month of April, we reach the Holy Week; a pivotal moment of grace in our Lenten observance. For our reflection this month, I would like to dwell on a mysterious aspect of the Lord’s passion which has always inspired me. I refer to the seemingly mysterious SILENCE of God in the course of the events of the original Holy Week.
1. Jesus is brought to trial in Pilate’s court. The chief priests accuse Jesus with untrue yet serious allegations. Pilate asks Jesus, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.” Jesus remains SILENT! Pilate is amazed at his silence. (Mark 15:3-5)
2. On Good Friday at three in the afternoon, Jesus cries out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). God does not answer. He chooses to remain SILENT!(Matthew 27:46)
The silence of God is baffling and even unsettling. Why is God silent? The silence of the Father during Jesus’ excruciating pain of abandonment on the cross seems to suggest that God was absent. The silence of Jesus before Pilate and the chief priests seems to imply that he owned up the failure of His mission. God’s silence is hard to understand.
However, faith helps us realize that God’s silence was not a sign of his abandonment or failure of His mission. On the contrary, God’s silence was a moment of:
1. Solidarity: God chooses the side of the victim. In His silence, God empathizes with the broken humanity. He stands in solidarity with the voiceless
2. Divine Mercy: In his silence, God shows the extent of his mercy. On the Cross, God takes the negativities, hatred and enmity of this world upon Himself and silently transforms them into his grace and love.
3. Redemption: In the silence of Jesus, we realize that He was cooperating with His Father in the unfurling of the Divine plan for our salvation.
Thus God’s silence turns out to be of tremendous richness, overwhelming depth, and surprising beauty. God’s silence is pro-active. As we prepare ourselves to celebrate the paschal feast, we are invited to experience this pro-active silence of the Passion of the Lord. Our participation in the Divine Silence transforms us into disciples of his mercy on a mission of Solidarity with the suffering in God’s eternal plan of redemption.
May the intercession of the Blessed Mother, who stood by the cross, sharing in the same pro-active silence of God, intercede for us all. I wish you all a grace-filled Holy Week and a grace-filled Easter. Alleluia!
With prayerful wishes,
Archbishop George Antonysamy.