Nothing will bring us closer to Jesus than reflecting on the Passion, for His suffering reveals His heart. It is all about having a fresh vision of the Man of Sorrows and hearing Him speak to the heart: “Do you love Me? Where I am, My servant also will be.”
In her prayers, songs and writings, Mother Basilea bears witness to this greatest expression of God’s love. And wherever the Sisterhood has established a Canaan center, there is usually a prayer garden with reliefs depicting the Passion of Jesus, for a visible representation can help to deepen our understanding.
Jesus longs for us to give Him all our love in response to His love and suffering. This is how in Phoenix, Arizona, a Garden of Jesus’ Sufferings and Resurrection came to be built by the Sisters of Mary with their friends.
Come and discover it for yourself…
Jesus knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. (from Luk. 22 NIV)
You are the Good Shepherd. From now on I am going to listen to Your voice, not to the insinuations of the evil one. You loved me enough to go to Gethsemane, the place of total surrender, making Yourself vulnerable. You did not run away when the powers of death attacked. You wrestled in spirit with them – all because You love me.
Thank You for the assurance that in all my trials and temptations I am in Your loving hands. I want to trust in Your love and follow You step by step in obedience to Your Word and guidance. Amen.
He stands before His judges,
the spotless Lamb divine;
They spit on Him and mock Him,
He bears your sins and mine.
He suffers for my sinning,
My Jesus, Lord of all,
And in my place most humbly
Stands in the judgment hall.
Accusations, spoken and unspoken, bombarded Jesus on His way to the cross. He bore the brunt of our criticizing. He took the place that we have deserved; the place of the accused. What skilled defense lawyers we are when we come under attack. For every criticism, we have a quick retort. Adverse criticism brings out the pride in our hearts. When Jesus was accused, what came out was His humility. He stood trial and faced false accusations without sinning once in His reactions. He lived out His words, “I am gentle and humble in heart” (Matt.11:29 NIV). How do we respond when unkind or untrue things are said about us?
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt. 11:19 NIV
Because Jesus loves His followers so much, He has promised to share everything with them, including the fellowship of His sufferings. This is why He said, “Where I am, my servant also will be” (John 12:26 NIV). Suffering with Jesus will yield abundant fruit. Streams of life flow from those who are yoked with Jesus in the fellowship of the cross and bear their suffering for love of Him. Thousands can be blessed by one person following Jesus and carrying their cross. What an opportunity!
O holy cross, now you stand erected as the tree of life, from which streams of life, Jesus’ holy blood, flow unceasingly, granting salvation to all who come to drink and be filled, to be cleansed of all sins.
Jesus is now wedded to the cross, the symbol of salvation, the symbol of redemption, the symbol of victory, the symbol of all the wondrous power of God.
May You be blessed for ever
By all for whom You died,
Our loving thanks we bring You,
Lord Jesus crucified!
All hail to You, O Jesus, O Jesus!
We must all experience Jesus’ burial in our lives. While Jesus hung on the cross and spoke, the disciples could still hope that He would suddenly descend from the cross. A miracle could have happened, for was He not the Son of God? But now at the burial, it was all over. The radiance of Jesus had vanished. And in their arms they were holding their dead Lord.
Whether young or old, we must all go through a similar experience in spirit. Jesus has drawn close to us. He has looked upon us. We have sensed His loving presence. And we have said to Him, “I desire You alone, nothing else.” But then we have to undergo trails and temptations, and it seems to us as though Jesus were dead. He does not speak to us. He is silent. When we pray, we do not hear any answer.
Nothing is more difficult in our lives than such a burial experience when we seem to be holding a dead Lord Jesus in our arms. But it is vital that we remain faithful in the night, when not a single star is shining, and believe: Jesus is risen! He is alive! He is Victor! Taken from Jesus A Portrait of Love by Mother Martyria Madauss
Jesus is risen, as He said! Matt. 28:6 NIV
He is risen! He is alive!
As the Prince of Victory He is standing before us.
When we praise and laud His victory,
Hell will tremble and chains of sin and Satan will be broken.
His right hand will be victorious over all fear in face of the terrors that are to come, if we trust in Him. Sing unto the Lord a new song, for He does marvelous things, transforming disaster into glory, darkness into light, and sorrow into joy, for all those whose eyes are upon Him.
Yes, he whom Easter joy sets free,
His heart cries out his Lord to see,
Though Satan loud may threaten;
My thankful heart the Victor knows,
Hails Jesus, Lord of all His foes.
For Jesus is the Victor!
For Christ our Lord is risen!
Texts taken from these books by M.Basilea Schlink