“Jesus of Nazareth faced a kind of suffering that we usually don’t think about on Good Friday. When we meditate on the events of that day, we often remember his betrayal by Judas, one of his closest friends, which must have been a terrible blow to Jesus, no matter how much he might have suspected it. We think about his friend Peter denying even knowing him, which must have added to Jesus’s torment. And we remember Jesus’s physical sufferings, as he is beaten, scourged and finally crucified, a horrible way to die.
Yet there is another kind of suffering: the sadness of seeing his great “project” come to an apparent end. As Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, and as he hung on the Cross, the words “It is finished” may have referred not simply to his life, but to his life’s work. Many of us feel like we are failures in life, and believe that what we had hoped for, what we had worked for, and what we had sacrificed for, will never happen. In the final analysis, we feel, God doesn’t much care about our dreams. “All that work,” we think, “What was it for?” Jesus understands these feelings of failure, because he experience them: “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?,” he says from the Cross. Yet, even in the midst of these feelings, Jesus knows that, if he can continue to trust in God, something beautiful will happen. Something new. Something surprising. Something that perhaps even he will not be able to predict.”
From Fr James Martin SJ