Jesus is referred to as “the supreme high priest” in the Second Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews. He is described as one “who shares our weaknesses… who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin.” Through his suffering and death on the Cross he became for his followers “the source of eternal salvation”. This is vividly expressed in our reading of the Passion from St John’s Gospel.
All of this is preceded by the First Reading which is the Fourth of the “Servant Songs” in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (52:13-53:12). Here we find a description of the “Suffering Servant” that pulls no punches as it outlines the degradations we see Jesus suffering but there is ultimately a message of hope in all of this,
If he offers his life in atonement (at-one-ment with all humankind),
he shall see his heirs, shall have a long life
and through him what the Lord wishes will be done.
This is the hope offered us especially in these dark and difficult times for the whole of humanity.