Tuesday in the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time

[Scripture Readings: 1 Cor 15:51-57 Lk 23:44-46, 50, 52-53; 24:1-6a ]

At noon darkness came over the land as Jesus hung on the cross. It was not a darkness caused by a natural eclipse of the sun, because the Passover has always been celebrated when there is a full moon, when it is at the opposite end of the earth from the sun. This was the extraordinary darkness foretold by the prophet Amos, when the Lord said, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight” (Amos 8:9).

The darkness of the Crucifixion on Calvary was a total inversion of Jesus' Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. It was an unnatural darkness in place of supernatural light, bitter suffering rather than divine glory, with Jesus flanked by two thieves instead of Moses and Elijah. Yet, it is by the forgiveness of Jesus in all the horror of his Crucifixion that we are saved, not by his wonderful Transfiguration. So also, in this life, far more good for ourselves and others comes from offering our sufferings and dying with Jesus than from the gift of enjoying mystical experiences.