A God Who Knows How It Feels

April 8, 2022  •   Tracy Earl Welliver

man walking into the ocean

Christ could have spoken anything from the cross, so why did he choose to recite Psalm 22? And why is it so important that we recite that same Psalm at today’s Mass?

“My God, my God, why have You abandoned me?”

We’ve never known the Jesus of the Gospels to doubt the will of God. We’ve never known him to be a defeatist or to give into feelings of despair. He’s the hero who walks on water, the Savior who is welcomed to Jerusalem with a pathway of palms. And he knows how this story ends; he knows full well that his Father has absolutely not abandoned him.

So why does he say this? Jesus doesn’t make offhanded comments, especially in his last hour. Today, when we repeat the words that he calls out in his darkest moment, we must remember that he wants us, very particularly, to consider them.

With his crucifixion, Jesus reminds us of his humanity. He is a man of flesh that can be torn and blood that can be shed. Somehow, in tandem with his divinity, he still possesses a heart that knows fear and pain and longing. And with this seemingly hopeless cry, he reminds us of that.

Let us never doubt that Jesus can relate to us in our brokenness. This is the week, friends. This is the week that reminds us that our God is a God who knows every pang, every trembling, and every uncertainty of human life. Our God knows what abandonment feels like. He knows what rejection feels like. He knows what it is to keep going when the strength and the will has disappeared.

— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS

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