Exorcist Diary #39: Via Crucis 2- Separation from the Father
Given all that Jesus suffered, perhaps the greatest is not much appreciated by us and largely hidden. The psychological and human suffering were incalculable and excruciating. But these cannot compare with his ultimate sacrifice, of which the Gospels only give slight mention.
As the second person of the Trinity, Jesus' divinity was begotten by the Father. In an eternal act of love, the Father breathed forth the Son. Every aspect of the Son's being was oriented to the Father and the love that united them. "I love the Father and ... do just as the Father commanded me" (Jn 14:31) and "The Father and I are one" (Jn 10:30).
Separating Jesus from his Father would be to negate his very being at its core. Jesus, though sinless, took on the full weight of human sin which, at its root, is a separation from God. What is the greatest suffering of hell? The theologians all agree: an eternal loss of a vision of God, that divine connection for which we all are made.
"My God, my God why have you forsaken me?" (Mt 27:46). This anguished cry of Jesus tells us that on the cross he experienced the unthinkable- his very being was spiritually decimated in being separated from the Father and thus his very self.
Yet, hidden within these words is a great hope. These words are actually the beginning of Psalm 22. In the midst of his complete self-sacrifice, Jesus has turned the darkness into a prayer. This psalm ends in hope: "All who sleep in the earth will bow low before God...and I will live for the Lord" (vv. 30,31).
Whatever our crosses, God will not abandon us, even though it may feel like it. He will turn our death into life. In our darkest moments, may we find hope in the one praying from the cross.