March 22, 2021
A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:29-30)
It is finished
Few moments are more holy than when a human soul breathes a final breath and passes from the labor of this life into the silent mystery of the Love who bears us home.
More than once or twice, I have known the privilege of bearing witness to a final word, a final breath, holding a hand that could no longer hold mine.
Each time, grace and grief entwined as one, awakening gratitude and prayer. “Thank you for this life now lived. Thank you for the grace of this moment. Thank you for the love unimaginable into which you bear us.”
Gratitude and grief entwine here, too, as Jesus hands himself over to the Loving Mystery he so often called Father. “It is finished,” he whispers, and hangs limp, done.
But his words are not the dying gasp of an exhausted soul, drained and defeated by the incessant cycle of human cynicism and brutality.
No, he loved his own and loved them to the end. It was the one labor of his life, carried out in the face of scorn and perplexity, and here, in this moment, it comes to completion.
Every ounce of love that he is … has been poured out. The vessel is now empty, and in that emptiness we see the face of the Loving Mystery who invites us to entrust everything we are, have been and ever will be to this Love who is our true and final home.
Trusting this, we live the love that is in us so that, when we are through, our hearts may whisper, “It is finished,” handing ourselves over to the Love who is never finished.
Pr. David L. Miller
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you
By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.