From commitment to Resurrection
“Father, into your hands I commit/commend my spirit” (Lk 23:46)
It is certainly risky to commit ourselves – individually or as community – to someone or something. It is even riskier to release ourselves into the hands of another. Experience of disappointments leads us to suspicion.
What cause is worthy of our commitment? What person is worthy of our self-sacrificial love? Whom can I trust?
After committing their lives to Jesus, the apostles must have been quite disturbed to hear Jesus’ words from the cross “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mk 15:34). If God the Father had forsaken him, what about them? Had they heard the words of Jesus’ final cry? Only Luke records them: “Father, into your hands I commend (commit) my spirit” (Lk 23:46).
Probably only after reflection did they look at the psalm from which Jesus took these (former) words. Psalm 22 starts with a complaint but ends with thanksgiving for victory. On the cross, Jesus was truly enthroned as the King of Glory, as the icon of the crucifixion is often captioned.
Jesus’ will was one with the will of the Father. The cross and the resurrection required Jesus’ cooperation; he didn’t just sit back and passively accept his fate.
Similarly, our lives will have meaning if we join our wills to that of the Father.
Since Jesus no longer walks our streets as he once did; we rely on our common relationship with the resurrected Christ.
In the new edition of the Divine Liturgy, the deacon calls us to “commit (rather than “commend”) ourselves and one another and our whole lives to Christ our God.” In the Divine Liturgy, we join Christ whose total commitment to the will of the Father included his entrusting himself to the Father’s care but also doing what was directed.
Similarly, we entrust ourselves to the power of God by committing ourselves to doing his will.
Let our lives proceed from the apparent lack of God’s help in doing what we believe is necessary (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) to commitment to do the Father’s will and trust in him (“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit”).
The Resurrection will become a reality, to a degree as we proceed through this earthly journey, but totally afterwards.
Let us proceed through Psalm 22 to the last verse: “Let the coming generation be told of the Lord that they may proclaim to a people yet to be born the justice he has shown.” Let all people know that
CHRIST IS RISEN!
INDEED HE IS RISEN!
Bishop John Kudrick is the bishop of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma Ohio.