Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani

Do I dare appropriate the words of Jesus for myself? As this official Lenten season begins to draw to a close, do I admit that God is absent and I am alone in the darkness? That I do not believe that Easter is going to come for me, and that I am no longer sure that I can bear the burden of my belief because hope and grace seem so unattainable?

Did Jesus feel that way? As he knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying until he sweated blood, did he hold any hope that the trajectory of his life could change? That the weight of his commitment to God would be lifted and he could choose another path that didn’t involve so much pain and sacrifice? Was he even sure what that pain and sacrifice were for?

And as he hung on the cross---beaten, broken, and bleeding---did he regret signing on? Would he have made a different choice if he had known that he would see his own agony reflected in the faces of his mother, Mary Magdalene, and his beloved John as they bore witness to his suffering? Could he believe, in that moment, that what he had done, and his choice to submit to what he perceived to be the will of God, would make a difference in the world?

Even if he didn’t know, he kept the faith. He drank the cup. No matter what it cost. Obedient even unto death.

But he was Jesus, and I am not.

Domine Jesu Christi, miserere mei peccatore...