I’m grateful to Neil for that post on Ash Wednesday. Be sure to read it.
Our parish’s resident priest, Fr Michael, preached on today’s second reading at 6:15 AM Mass, drawing out this verse:
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
Through his Passion, Jesus was treated as a sinner. To all appearances, he was abandoned by God. That would be the Jewish understanding: the person of misfortune would be a clear sign of God’s disfavor.
We realize from experience that sinners manage to hide their crimes more carefully than the most circumspect of almsgivers, pray-ers, and fast-ers. We can’t realistically expect to ferret out sinners and the virtuous just by appearances … or checkbooks.
The end of 2 Corinthians 5 also points to the end result of the scapegoating of Jesus, namely the goal of our own holiness. The Passion wasn’t just a personal demonstration of God’s sacrifice or Jesus’ strength. The goal is that reason for which Lent is observed, for which we pray the liturgy: holiness. Our holiness.
Let us all commend one another in prayer these days of Lent, and aim high for the holiness God desires for each and all of us.