The Perfect Sacrifice

Does good come out of suffering? The short answer is – it really depends. The Gospel reading for Palm Sunday is the account of the Passion of the Lord. Jesus entered Jerusalem in order to carry out the final phase of His mission on earth, where ultimately, He was to suffer and die on the Cross and in three days rise again. In Jesus’ case, God made something really bad and turned it to something immeasurably good. What was really bad is that Jesus was betrayed, He was unjustly condemned to death, He was abandoned by His friends, He suffered greatly and He died on the Cross. But what was really good is that Jesus’ death and resurrection brought about the redemption of mankind and life to the world. 

What about the human experience? Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems faced in human life. In illness, man experiences his powerlessness, his limitations and his finitude. With grave illness, a person can have a glimpse of death; it can also lead to anguish, self-pity, despair and revolt against God. On the other hand, it can also deepen a person’s spiritual maturity and help him think about what is important in life. For some people, illness provokes a search for God and to return to Him. (CCC 1500-1501)

Therefore, in the human moral experience, good comes out of suffering if it leads a person to seek and find peace and consolation in God, but not if it leads a person to anguish or despair. But there is more to it than that.

St. Paul wrote about the human experience of suffering. The Letter to the Romans tell us that we are children of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him (cf. Romans 8:16-17). In other words, Christians enjoy a new life in Christ and a new relationship with God, by becoming God’s adopted children and heirs through Christ, whose sufferings and glory we share.

Elsewhere, St. Paul wrote to the Colossians: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his Body, which is the Church (Colossians 1:24).” This passage has been interpreted in many ways, but one thing is certain – it does not imply that the redemption brought about by Christ’s death on the Cross was in any way imperfect. Christ’s death on the Cross is the one perfect Sacrifice offered to the Father, and Paul expounds that Christians who suffer for the sake of the Church also share in the salvific suffering of Christ (see Salvifici Doloris #24).

Are you in need of healing and peace? Then perhaps you have heard people say to you: “Offer it up!” What most people mean to say is to offer it up as a sacrifice to God, but what is often overlooked is the disposition of the heart in which this sacrifice must to be offered up. The choice is ours – to turn bitter in our hearts or to offer it up to God with love?

Come and join our special liturgical celebrations during Holy Week. Mass on Holy Thursday begins at 8:00pm. Stations of the Cross on Good Friday begins at 6:30pm followed by the Commemoration of the Passion of the Lord at 7:00pm. Saturday Easter Vigil begins at 8:00pm. On Easter Sunday, there will be the Easter Egg Hunt for the children after the 10:30am Mass, followed by the community potluck. Please bring a dish to share.

Our church will be hosting the first Chinese Cursillo in Atlanta from July 28 to 31, 2022. The venue will be at the Carmel Retreat Center in Hoschton, which is only 40 minutes from the church. There are still a few slots available. Please register with Andrew Shen or Angela Chang.

The bushes growing beside the French Drain system in front of the buildings have been removed because the roots have begun to clog and break the underground pipes.

As of this week, we have collected $500 for the Archbishops Annual Appeal. We still need $3,300 to meet our goal of $3,800.

There are 2 ways to give:

a) Send your donations directly to the Archdiocese, indicating Holy Name of Jesus Chinese Mission as your parish.

b) Donate via our church: if you are donating by cash, please use the Archbishops Annual Appeal envelopes, write your name, amount and date. If you are donating by check, please write payment to HNOJ, and AAA in the memo.

Thank you for your support! 

Prayer List: Jiang Mama, Ma Yilan, Zheng Zhiming, Wang Dacheng, Carolyn Johnson, Pan Bohao, Long Guorui, Zhang Qiang, Xu Taicheng and Qiu Laihao.