A profound meditation from Amy Carmichael:
The last thing He did before His hands were bound.
And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And Jesus answered and said, Suffer you thus far. And He touched his ear and healed him. (Luke 22. 50, 51)
Then the band and the captain and the officers of the Jews took Jesus and bound Him. (John 18.12)
The last thing the Lord Jesus did before His hands were bound, was to heal.
Have you asked yourself, If I knew this was the last thing I should do, what would I do? I have never found the answer to that question. There are so very, very many things that would want to do for those whom we love, that I do not think we are likely to be able to find the chief one of all these. So the best thing is just to go on simply, doing each thing as it comes as well as we can.
Our Lord Jesus spent much time in healing sick people, and in the natural course of events it happened that the last thing He did with His kind hands was to heal a bad cut. (I wonder how they could have the heart to bind His hands after that.)
In this as in everything, He left us an example that we should follow in His steps. Do the thing that this next minute, this next hour, brings you, faithfully and lovingly and patiently; and then the last thing you do, before power to do is taken from you (if that should be), will be only the continuation of all that went before.
“So you’ve been hauled over the coals? Don’t follow the advice of pride and lose your temper. Think: how charitable they are toward me! The things they’ve left unsaid.” (Josemaria Escriva)
“…a smile is often the best mortification.” (St. Josemaría Escrivá)
“The appropriate word you left unsaid; the joke you didn’t tell; the cheerful smile for those who bother you; that silence when you’re unjustly accused; your kind conversation with people you find boring and tactless; the daily effort to overlook one irritating detail or another in those who live with you…this, with perseverance, is indeed solid interior mortification.” (St. Josemaría Escrivá)
This is exactly what God does for us. He punishes us and then comes to be with us in our punishment.
At our Witnesses to Hope meeting this week, Sr. Dorcee spoke about the importance of seeing goodness and beauty in the other and gives tips about how to do that. If you would like to see or hear the talk, you can go here. A number of people asked her for this quote, so here it is:
To see that someone is good and to say so is a creative act–one of the great creative acts. There may be some few individuals who are inescapably evil, but they are few. Within almost all of us is something positive and unique, but which is all too easily injured, and which only grows when exposed to the sunlight of someone else’s recognition and praise. To see the good in others and let them see themselves in the mirror of our regard is to help someone grow to become the best they can be. ‘Greater,’ says the Talmud, ‘is one who causes others to do good than one who does good himself.’ To help others become what they can be is to give birth to creativity in someone else’s soul. This is done not by criticism or negativity but by searching out the good in others, and helping them to see it, recognize it, own it, and live it.
‘And God saw that it was good’–this too is part of the work of creation, the subtlest and most beautiful of all. When we recognize the goodness in someone, we do more than create it, we help it to become creative. This is what God does for us, and what He calls us to do for others. (Rabbi Jonathan Sacks)