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Passion: God is with us!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.   2 Corinthians 1.3,4

The meaning of Passion in Christian tradition is tied up with the Passion of Jesus. The word comes from the Latin passio meaning suffering, endurance - and has become linked with all that Jesus endured in the last days of his life and up to death.  Part of the remembrance of these events has been to remind us that God is not remote or distant from human suffering, but understands and experiences it in creation, and particularly in the life and death of the one who was emmanuel, God with us.

We don’t reflect on the suffering of Christ to revel in the violence and pain Jesus suffered.  We don’t do it to glorify the agony and death of Jesus. We do it as a way of understanding the God who is so engaged and present in the reality of the world that suffering is not beyond Divine experience.  God is with us! We proclaim at Christmas.  God is with us! We proclaim in Lent, through Holy Week, and at Easter.  God is with us, not in a theoretical or nominal way, but in an earthy, engaged, committed, real way.

We remember the God whose love is so great that there is nothing that gets between humanity and the Divine, not even pain and death. God walks beside us in all of the suffering we experience, God is with and within whatever our experience - from the desolation of the Cross, to the joy of the resurrection.