‘Zeal for Your house consumes Me; the insults of those who blaspheme You have fallen on Me… Scorn has broken My heart and left Me helpless’ (PS 69: 9, 20).
Zeal consumed Jesus, ate Him up, killed Him.
His ‘ardent enthusiasm’ (a good definition of ‘zeal’) for the Father’s will and house is best expressed another way. Zeal for you consumed Him.
No-one else cared enough for your relation with the Father to die for you. No-one else died for your worst enemies, be they Donald Trump or Stormy Daniels or Kim Jong Un, FOX News or CNN. Only One was consumed for the salvation of the whole world.
Only One burned with such pure love for each person that He died. Good Friday establishes the fact that nothing need separate us from the Father’s love, even (especially) our enemies. He died for them as surely as He died for you. As you kneel before the Cross today, make sure you have an empty kneeler next to you. Jesus asks you to invite your worst enemy there.
Of course we can choose not to kneel. We can stay drugged up by whatever keeps us running. He burns with zeal anyway, for all of us, patiently.
Today is His day to show His zeal for all, beginning with us then through us to all persons. He was consumed with fire in order to burn off shame and guilt and fear and immoral judgments. He blazes to burn up all barriers that separate us from the Father’s love. He blazes to love us. Will you welcome His love for you afresh?
Consumed by love, Jesus died to release love—water to dissolve sin, blood to give us divine life (JN 19:34). How can we not help but love people better, with greater zeal? Good Friday makes the way.
‘Zeal is never static…zeal is dynamic; if zeal is not greater all the time, it is not zeal. Each day it should eat up more of us, so that there is less and less of us. “I must decrease that He might increase” (JN 3:30).’ Mother Mary Francis