"When Jesus has taken the wine, he said, "It is finished." And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit." (John 19:30)
There is rush in life. We want to get things done the soonest possible time with the fastest, almost instantaneous way. We run the race as if there is not much time left. Probably there are moments when we are tempted to say, "If only I had time…" and we find fault in ourselves for not being able to finish something or that which we have been expected to accomplish or that which we have burdened ourselves to do.
Jesus, hanging on the cross, taking time with the last moments that he had, uttered: "It is finished." He has accomplished his mission. He has fulfilled the will of the Father. He has done what He has to do even amidst the sourness of life that he had to embrace--poverty, pain, agony, betrayal, abandonment. He must be very tired and pained but he has that inner fulfillment to say, "It is finished."
There are many times in our life that we cannot claim we have finished our mission because we may have given in to the temptations along our journey.
We are tempted to complain with the sourness of life and so we cannot finish. Such temptation is exacerbated by the desire for that which is easy and fun. Hedonism has led us to look for comforting joy and sometimes we have searched for enjoyment in wrong places and in fleeting moments. There is pain in the world. There is much pain. And there is no way we can escape such pain. We just have to embrace such pain if only to make us stronger, if only to make us better. How soon will the agony of this CoVID 19 be over? We do not know. We just have to bear the pain and suffering brought about by greed and carelessness. We can bear this without complaining but patiently enduring with others, for we know we shall overcome--all shall be well. It is with unwavering hope, not with endless complaint, that we shall have to face the chaos of life and carry our problems with trust and confidence that the Lord is journeying with us towards the Easter of our lives.
We are tempted to rush, overwhelmed with all the burdens and deadlines and we find ourselves distracted and our energies diverged and so we cannot finish. There are many distractions in life. Even within an hour, we can have multiple concerns and yet we end up finishing nothing. Our circle of concern is so wide that we do not have much energy to face everything. We should have listened to the prompting that leads us to take one step at a time according to priorities. But still our pride may lead us to take more than what we can do and, in the end, become so frustrated. What is the point of rushing? Are we in pointless competition? Are we trying to prove our worth? Let us in humility slow down when we must and take small steps as we focus our lives only to the essentials and let go of the accidentals. We can run the race very well only when we know how to focus our lives and see clearly the vision that God has for each one of us. Let go when we must if only to realize the fulfillment of that which is the fundamental goal of our journey with God.
We are tempted to give up too soon because we want quick and easy success and so we cannot finish. Humanity is in agony because we often fall into the ditch of meaningless journey. How many have given up friendships, family relationships, marriages, and even religious vocation---often because of meaninglessness? Symptoms of easily getting tired, not wanting to do anything, aggression, silently making an existential revolt---these and many others actually bear the mark of meaninglessness. Such equation of meaninglessness may have been the result of the formula of success proposed by consumerist society. We seem not to get quick positive results and we give up. We seem not to experience being affirmed and noticed and we give up. We check our social media accounts and we seem not to be liked and we give up. We should never give up--not now, not tomorrow. We have to persevere unto the end. Success is not ours to measure; the real measure of success is in God. Success is not ours to claim if we know that this is all about God's mission. There is meaning even if we fail very often because such meaning is brought by God who never gives up on us. He remains with us until the end.
The Lord invites us to finish the mission that He has entrusted to us. Let us not be tempted to complain, to rush, nor to give up. Whatever it is that we have embraced with the willingness of our spirit, we have to accomplish with joy and gratitude not because of us or our name and glory but because of God who is the beginning and the end of what we do. With Him, we shall accomplish. For Him, we shall finish. At the end of our life journey, when everything is said and done, we, as God’s servants, shall say to Him, "Lord, it is finished. Thank you for having given me the opportunity to journey with You in mission as Your servant. Amen."