All shapes and forms of Christian spirituality are founded on the example and experience of Jesus Christ. In its unique and distinctive mode, the diocesan priesthood also focuses on Jesus the High Priest. Priests themselves fall into a union with the “dearly beloved Father”, which enkindles a fire which is similar to the one that flamed forth in Jesus’ heart at his baptism in Jordan. As Luke states, “I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already!” (Luke 12:49)
In Jesus’ calvary experience, the solitary rootedness in God alone stood forth in stark truth and beauty;
At the Last Supper, Jesus was seized by a moment of special, explicit awareness, as John’s Gospel records it; “Jesus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God.” (John 13:3).
In washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus shown the gesture of perfect love (John 13:1), Jesus symbolised the meaning of his whole past and of his coming experience on Calvary, when he would be lifted beyond any point of return.
In an olive grove, strengthened by a fearful, anguished renewal of obedient abandonment into the providential, loving hands of his Beloved, Jesus gave himself over into the hands of his adversaries.
After being stripped of his clothes and lifted on the cross, Jesus now felt forsaken and, at the level of felt experience, utterly separated from that Beloved who had always been there for him.
With his identity centred in God and far beyond any logic or promise of this world, Jesus crucified does not damn or deny the reality of our world. From the deepest composure of his heart, focused wordlessly on his dearly Beloved, Jesus announced with rocklike hope; “In God alone there is rest for my soul.. Rest in God alone, my soul! He is the source of my hope.” (Psalm 62:1)