The Hour has come. How often during our lives we have said those words. Something we’ve been anticipating—a surgery, a talk we have to give, a meeting we are dreading—is weighing us down, and finally the moment is here. We know that sinking feeling, wishing the sky would fall or someone would pull the fire alarm, anything to prevent the moment from arriving, but ultimately knowing we have to face it. At those times God has always been with us, whether or not we knew it, accompanying us on the journey.
Jesus Himself experienced that existential dread. It’s recorded a number of times that He spoke of His Hour referring to His passion and death. Finally, today, the Hour has come. We wonder when He told his Mother, and what went on between them during that conversation. Imagine how difficult it would have been for Mary not to try to talk Him out of it, not to tell Him she would pray that Judas changes his mind, not to hope something would happen so He doesn’t have to die. Jesus wouldn’t have wanted that, and Mary would have known that what He needed was her strength and understanding at that hour. That Hour, again! What it must have cost Jesus and Mary to move forward carrying out the Will of the Father—the surrender we’ve been speaking of these many weeks past.
In John 12:27, shortly before the Last Supper, Jesus said, My soul is troubled, What shall I say: Father save me from this hour? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.
This prayer is reminiscent of the self-talk we experience when we are called upon to do something difficult and we can’t find it within ourselves to do it. Still, we know we must because this is all part of His plan for us…. How marvelously beautiful is the realization that Jesus came to earth to share in our sufferings by suffering Himself to give them meaning. It is in considering this that the meaning of Good Friday becomes clearer for us as we come, not as bystanders, but as companions of Jesus in His own Hour.
May His need for comfort be your comfort in your own heartaches and difficulties,
at every hour of every day.