Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last. Luke 23:46
This perfect prayer, uttered from the depths of the Heart of our Lord, goes to the heart of life itself. It says it all. It’s a prayer of complete surrender to the Father, a prayer of total abandonment and unwavering trust.
As our Blessed Mother stood at the foot of the Cross, there is no doubt that she joined her Son in His prayer of perfect surrender. She would have not only offered her own life once again to the Father, she would have also offered her Son.
Commending ourselves to the Father, in total abandonment, must become our daily mission. There is nothing in life more important than this. Jesus chose to make this prayer of surrender the last thing He spoke from the Cross as it is recorded by Saint Luke. Saint John’s Gospel reveals Jesus saying, “It is finished.” These two statements from our Lord make it clear that Jesus was perfectly one with the Father in His final moments on the Cross.
Think about that. As Jesus hung on the Cross, humiliated and in excruciating pain, He gave us a glorious example of surrender. Being perfect in every way, He did not turn in on Himself and wallow in self-pity, anger or regret. The cruelty He had received from so many did not deter Him from the continual surrender of His life to the Father and to His holy will. Instead, Jesus chose this most miserable persecuted state to profess His unending union with His Father.
Very often in our own lives, when crosses come our way, we begin to lose trust and hope in the Father. We carefully examine our wounds and ponder the injustices we’ve suffered. We allow hurt and sorrow to turn our eyes from God and instead we gaze at ourselves.
This prayer, spoken by our Lord, and echoed in the heart of our Blessed Mother, was spoken in part as a lesson to each one of us. First, it was prayed because it was the perfect expression of who Jesus was. But secondly, it was spoken for us to imitate.
How deep is your surrender to the Father in Heaven? How often do you pray this prayer? And when you pray it, how completely does this prayer become an action in your life? To surrender is to act. It is more than a decision, it’s a continual act of our will that deepens our surrender until it is complete and total.
Reflect, today, upon this perfect prayer of our Lord. “Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit.” Pray it over and over. If you can, get on your knees or lie prostrate before our Lord. Reflect, also, upon this prayer as it would have been uttered by our Blessed Mother from the depths of her own heart. She offered her life continually and joined her Son in this perfect and final offering to the Father. She did so as she stood gazing at her Son with a mother’s love.
My dearest Mother, as you stood before your Son and heard Him utter these sacred words, you made them your own. You freely and wholeheartedly offered your divine Son to the Father. You also offered your own life, once again, in union with the Sacrifice of your Son.
My loving Mother, pray for me that I may make my own life a perfect offering to the Father in Heaven. Help me, by your prayers and example, to hold nothing back. I give all to you, dear Mother, so that you may offer me to the Father in union with the offering of your Son.
My dying Lord, I commend my life into Your hands. I surrender all to You so that my life may be offered to the Father in union with Your perfect Sacrifice. Take me, dear Lord, receive me and do with me as You will.
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