This was the theme of the homily given by the priest at Mass this afternoon. Four simple words but Father said they have guided his entire Lent. Why else do we do what we do at Lent, or any other time of year for that matter? Because we want to see Jesus!
Until that day, we have the Eucharist so that we know we have His presence here on earth. And when we contemplate His passion, we do what we do not only for our own gain ( as everything we do for Christ will benefit us in the end ) but in reparation for the cruelty that put Him on that cross and continues to wound His Sacred Heart with blasphemies, insults and lies.
Last year, Father Ronald Check was the retreat master at a Lenten silent retreat at the Carmelite Monastery, and he talked about some of the visions that Blessed Catherine Emmerich had concerning the Passion and Death of Our Lord. One phrase that really stuck with me was the vision Blessed Catherine had of Our Blessed Mother at the foot of the cross - "her eyes rivited on the dying countenance of her Son." This lead me to read about her visions and I had the same feeling that I get when I read about the terrible torture of an innocent victim of crime. It gets to the point where I have to put the paper down because I can't bear to think of anyone suffering so. And that's how it was reading these visions of the Passion. And every year at Lent, I come to the awful realization that it wasn't just the executioners who put Jesus on the cross, but every sin I commit and will commit in my life. What will I do to repay so great a Friend that He laid down His life for me?
I wish to see Jesus. And so I must now see Him in everyone I meet, no matter how repulsive or obnoxious I find them to be. And I must see Him in every person rejected or marginalized by society and I must do this not out of love for myself but out of the desire to make reparation to Him. While it's not possible to ever repay Him in kind, He does not expect this of us. Still, imagine the consolation it will bring to do what He asks with no expectation of Him at all.