It has often been discussed, what was Jesus’ greatest suffering during his passion? Some think it was during his agony on the Mount of Olives, when he had in front of his eyes the weight of the sin of all humankind; however, I believe that the moment of greatest pain for Jesus was when he felt abandoned by the Father and shouted this cry from the Cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Jesus never loved the Father and humankind so much as in that moment, when he felt abandoned. In this desolation, Jesus embraced all kinds of suffering of man and in that cry of pain, Jesus gave us the possibility to be reborn – in this and in the afterlife – from any type of death or suffering that we could confront.
In the forsaken Jesus all kinds of rejection, solitude, alienation, anxiety and desperation are represented. In that instant, Jesus even takes up the pain of the sinner who believes himself unworthy of forgiveness, or of the unbeliever, incapable of having faith in God.
Seeing the face of Jesus forsaken in those that we feel unable to love, or in those who don’t have an attractive quality or personality, will help us to understand, accept and welcome them in our hearts.
It’s precisely that example of a forsaken Jesus, the one we’ll have to imitate, if we truly desire to reach sanctity. Jesus’ example of love and pain are fused together on the cross. In that moment, He is detached from everything, so that his will becomes one with the will of God.
“Every one of us must love the forsaken Jesus. He asks us to embrace him in those pains, difficulties, illnesses, temptations, circumstances, people and obligations that we deal with. Let’s arise in the morning with this purpose in our hearts: Today I will only live to love my forsaken Jesus.” (Chiara Lubich)
Mother María Elena Martínez is a nun, born in Mexico City, where she still resides today. She has had a consecrated life for more than 30 years. She is currently a member of a community called María Madre del Amor which is dedicated to evangelization through Emmaus retreats in parishes and prisons and Sicar retreats for young people.