Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 28 November |
Saint of the Day: Pope St. Gregory III
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

What Was the Most Painful Moment for Jesus During His Passion?

Stephen-R-Dalrymple-CC

Manuel Bru - published on 04/02/15

A question that deeply concerned Chiara Lubich, foundress of Focolore

Given all that the Gospels tell us regarding Christ’s Passion, we might wonder what was the moment when Jesus suffered the most.

At the age of just 22 years old, during the Second World War in 1943, the Servant of God, Chiara Lubich, asked this very question. In the shelters, as bombs fell around them, people read the Gospel. There they discovered that God, who is Love, is the only ideal that no bomb can destroy. Once the bombing had subsided, they would go and look for the dead among the rubble, and assist those who had been injured.

One day a girl fell gravely ill, through the unhygienic conditions of the wounded. They called the priest, and Chiara, before the the Sacrament of Extreme Unction was administered, asked him this question: “What was the moment when Jesus suffered the most in his Passion?”

The priest replied: “I think it was when he cried out on the Cross: ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’, or ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”.

Chiara then took her companions by the hand and, surrounding the bed of the sick girl, proposed that they espouse themselves to the “Abandoned Jesus”, choosing him and loving him forever in suffering — in their own and in those of all humanity.

Pope St. John Paul II said that Jesus’ human experience of abandonment on the Cross, when he cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?,” responds to a suffering shared by the three persons of the Most Holy Trinity: by God the Father, who allows it the love of men; by the Spirit, who is silent in order that Jesus might accomplish the work of Redemption; and by Jesus.

Yes. Jesus, at least for an instant, felt abandoned by the Father. It could not have been otherwise, as St. Irenaeus explains. Jesus did not redeem what he did not assume. If he redeemed all men from all sorrow, injustice, torture, contempt, and the very feeling of abandonment by God, it was because, on the Cross, he made it all his own, by suffering it in his own flesh and in his soul.

Therefore, we shouldn’t see Jesus Crucified and Abandoned only reflected in the images we have of him. We should see him first of all in ourselves, when we feel abandoned; and in others, when they feel abandoned. And we can and should recognize him and say, “It is You”: in the one who is rejected, marginalized, forgotten, and alone. In the slandered, the leper, the abused, the deceived, the mocked. In the desperate, the sad, in those in anguish, in the outcast. And we should embrace him, and say: “I love you as you are.” 

We must make the leap, commit ourselves to love, and do the will of God, saying: “Act in me.”

Thus, by our lives we can witness to the world that Christ Crucified and Abandoned “has filled every void, enlightened all darkness, accompanied all loneliness, eliminated all sorrow, and erased all sin.”

Translation by Diane Montagna of Aleteia’s English edition.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to t...
FIRST CENTURY HOUSE AT THE SISTERS OF NAZARETH SITE
John Burger
British archaeologist confident he has found ...
PRAY
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things we can be grateful for this Thanksg...
VATICAN POPE GOOD FRIDAY COLOSSEUM
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Learn to pray with the early Church and to di...
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio's favorite prayer of petition
EARTHQUAKE
Bret Thoman, OFS
Two earthquakes couldn't stop these Italian n...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.