Glorious Cross March 27
. . . you yielded only bitterness; when I was thirsty you gave me vinegar to drink (Reproaches, Good Friday).
There are people in our world who cannot support life without sedatives. There are people who escape responsibility in pleasure. Others flee their problems by alcohol or drug abuse. There are people sick in body or spirit who take painkillers to survive their suffering, not to mention those who look to commit suicide. The means of evasion, legitimate or not, are numerous and the justification of their use is often easy. Rare is the person who can face seriously debilitating obstacles without a crutch. But Jesus was the exception. His clear head and pure heart were threatened by outrageous sin and its devastating consequences. He met pathetic victims of evil living in the world. He himself became victim of evil forces that attacked his life at every level. He knew excruciating physical pain that would normally immobilize the heart and kill the spirit. Never did he lose his determination to confront them in full awareness by love. Why would we be surprised to see him refuse the sponge of vinegar in the cross?
When God gives hard bread, God gives solid teeth. (African proverb)