April 2, 2021
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit. Luke 23:46
One of the most profound and transforming prayers we could ever pray is given to us today as the response to our Psalm: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” These words were, of course, spoken by our Lord as He hung upon the Cross and prepared to breathe His last. But they are also words that echoed throughout the earthly life of Jesus, and they continue to echo from the divine heart of our Lord in Heaven for all eternity. “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
This prayer is a prayer of surrender to the perfect will of the Father in Heaven, which was the one and only mission of Jesus as He lived upon earth. His only goal was to fulfill the Father’s will, and this was done by His continual surrender of His life to the Father. But Jesus’ surrender to the Father in Heaven did not end as He died upon the Cross. His surrender to the Father is an eternal reality. He continually gives Himself to the Father with perfect love. This is Heaven. Heaven is an eternal unity of the Most Holy Trinity. It’s an eternal giving of the Father to the Son and the Son to the Father. This perfect giving and receiving of love between the Father and the Son spirates the Holy Spirit Who proceeds from them both.
Imagine the response that the Father gave to the Son as He prayed this prayer from the Cross. Though the Father’s response is not recorded in Scripture, we can be certain that the Father’s response was one of complete receptivity and reciprocity. The Father received His eternal Son through that prayer and accepted the ultimate sacrifice of His earthly life for the salvation of the world. And the Father then responded in a reciprocal way by bestowing upon the Son in His human nature the full gift of His very self. Though the Father and the Son were always perfectly united as one, this prayer from the Cross became an earthly manifestation of this holy union.
Though this eternal reality of the Love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is a deep mystery of our faith, it is also a mystery that we must seek to penetrate and participate in. Heaven will be our eternal participation in this perfect love. Jesus’ prayer on the Cross is the perfect prayer for us to pray throughout our lives so as to begin to enter into that eternal reality, here and now, and to prepare ourselves to share in this eternal union forever.
On this Good Friday, as you gaze upon the crucifixion of Jesus and reflect upon His brutal agony and His earthly death, try to look beyond His human suffering to His perfect surrender. Try to see that His physical death was nothing other than an act of perfect love for the Father and an act into which we are invited to participate. Prayerfully ponder this beautiful prayer of Jesus today: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Say it over and over. Pray it slowly and meditatively. Savor each and every word. Make it your own prayer. Let it come forth from the depths of your spirit. Let it be your act of love of God so that the Holy Spirit will become manifest in your life. Use this prayer to show your love for the Father, making Him more fully your Father. Use this prayer as a way of uniting yourself with the eternal Son. Say it with Him, in Him and through Him. Strive to become one with our Lord as He manifests His oneness with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Share in Their divine life. If you do so from the depths of your being, you can be sure that our Father in Heaven will receive you just as He did His Son and They, together with the Holy Spirit, will bestow upon you the gift of their Triune life.
Father in Heaven, into Your hands I commend my spirit. As I gaze upon the crucifix and see Your eternal Son looking to You in Heaven, I unite myself with His eternal surrender to You. My Lord, Jesus, draw me into Your surrender and help me to make Your perfect prayer my own. I love You, Most Holy Trinity, and pray that I may share in the eternal reality of Your love. Jesus, I trust in You.
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This Day You Will Be With Me
Holy Week Poem
The Prayer of the Peasant of Ephesus
Holy Week Poem
Saint of the Day – Saint Francis of Paola, Hermit
(Not celebrated as a liturgical memorial this year since it falls on Good Friday)
Prepare for Easter!
Catholic Daily Reflections:
Easter Season 2021
Daily Reflections on Divine Mercy:
365 Days with Saint Faustina