Thursday in the Second Week of Easter

Scripture Readings: Acts 5:27-33; Jn 3:31-36      

“The Father loves the Son.”The bible often attributes human feelings to God. However inadequate, they help us understand his divine experience as it really is. So we read that God is angry (Deut 1:37),or moved with pity (Jud 2:18),or pleased (1 Kgs 3:10),or having compassion (Is 54:8), or experiencing the joy of a bridegroom (Lk 5:33-39).

In today’s Gospel we read, “The Father loves the Son.”What does that tell us about the Father’s feelings at the crucifixion of Jesus? What was it like for him? Because it’s one of life’s most terrible experiences when a beloved child dies tragically. 

Yes, the Gospels tell us about the Father’s love for Jesus: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”However, nothing is said about his feelings when Jesus is crucified. But there’s one story in the bible about a father’s reaction to the tragic death of his son that prophetically foreshadows and reveals the experience of God the Father. It is King David’s lament over the death of his son, Absalom. If we change the name Absalom to Jesus in King David’s anguished cry then we come closer to knowing what God the Father suffered: “O my son, Jesus, my son. My son, Jesus! Would I had died instead of you, O Jesus, my son, my son.” 1 That’s what it was like for God, because “The Father loves the Son” and yet, he gave him for us!

1. 2 Sam 19:1 (or 2 Sam 18:33 in RSV).