Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
April 2nd, 2010

Tom Shanahan, S.J.

University Relations and Theology Department
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
A Doctor Reflects on the Passion: How Did Jesus Die?
A Presentation by Dr. Gerard Stanley, Sr., MD at Creighton University
Today we celebrate one of the principal parts of the Paschal Mystery of Jesus, His death and resurrection, and the culmination of our Lenten prayer and preparation for these saving events.  This day is called “Good” and this week is called “Holy” because of the very goodness and holiness of God and Jesus as he carries out God’s will for our ultimate rescue.

The readings today begin with the haunting passage, “See, my servant will prosper,” one of four (suffering) servant poems found in the later chapters of the Prophet Isaiah.  The servant songs describe the servant of God who is called by God to be a source of justice for and among the People of Israel.  For his efforts the Servant is abused and suffers greatly for his commitment to justice and God’s call.

The servant is described here: “so marred was his look beyond human semblance and his appearance beyond that of the sons of man.”  Originally the servant represents the People of Israel as they suffer at the hands of others for their faithfulness to Yahweh.  But as Christians we can be led to see and to interpret Isaiah’s words to refer to Jesus in his suffering on the cross and death for us. 

An appropriate reflection today would be a quiet, meditative reading of  Is. 52: 13 – Is 53:12, discovering in the Servant of God an image of Jesus as he is “marred beyond human semblance” and how he bore our infirmities and was “pierced for our offenses.”  These phrases and others like them allow us an insight into the mystery of Jesus’ cruel death and the meaning of this Good Friday.

Thank you, Jesus, for your gift of life given to us through your Cross.  Help each of us to discover in your sacrifice the meaning of that event as it touches into our lives.  By your actions you have blessed us with mercy and forgiveness.  Call us to be instruments of your compassion, forgiveness and mercy to those that we meet.

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