When you hear the word passion, what is the first thought that enters your mind? Is it that intense love you feel for someone very special? Maybe you get fired up when you think about your favourite sports team winning the next game? While passion is a very intense feeling, that brings an unusual excitement and yearning from the heart, its meaning goes deeper. The word Passion comes from the Latin verb patere meaning to suffer. Based upon this definition, how intense is your passion? What moves you? Are you willing to work hard for what it may cost you? How much are you willing to suffer?

Easter Sunday is fast approaching. It is the culmination of the Passion of Christ. The word Passion is incomprehensible in relation to how much pain and agony Jesus was willing to suffer on his way to the cross. How fiery was his love to endure the steps leading up to and included in His crucifixion? I know that I can’t help but see the greatest symbol of love when I sit and gaze upon the crucifix.

The past month I have been dealing with personal hardships that have been very emotional and hard for me. I guess you could say, I have been handed my cross. In our human frailty, it is difficult to carry it with as much zeal as Jesus did- with passion! It is at these times of suffering that may we remind ourselves that we have an opportunity to draw close to Jesus. We only need to invite Him to journey with us? He is certainly familiar with our burdens and fears. He recognizes our feeling of abandonment and hopelessness.

His witness of love and sacrifice can strengthen us. It is up to us, if we chose to passionately love Him back. It’s when we die to self that He lives in us. What an incredible gift! We trust that He will take care of our needs and the needs of others. I find the more we invest our hearts in Him and surrender to His will, the easier our sorrows and struggles are to deal with. As Bono, so brilliantly said from the band U2 “I pray to know the will of God… the prayers have more of a chance of coming true”. I think it’s that simple!

This Good Friday we celebrate the Lord’s Passion and venerate the Cross of Christ. I am always brought to tears when I think of how He laid down His life to give us life. My cross is tiny compared to His. In fact it feels a lot lighter as I reflect. Being such a loving God, I realize that when I am too tired to carry it, He will lift it from me. It is then that I can lay it all down at the foot of the cross. I am basking in His goodness and rejoicing in what He has done for you and me! He died to set us free. Thank you Jesus! Happy Easter everyone!