from the Companion Directors Team
“Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom” Mt 27:50-51.
The Jewish temple was separated into four parts. The Holy of Holies was separated from the rest of the temple by a veil. Only the high priest could enter this room and did so annually on the Day of Atonement. Many Scripture scholars believe that this is the veil to which Mt 27:51 refers. So what is the significance of the splitting of the veil that excluded people from this sacred space when Jesus “gave up his spirit,” the supreme act of obedience to the divine will?
Could the splitting of the veil as Jesus breathed his last speak of the removal of a barrier that distanced people from God as many scholars suggest? I prefer to think so. How does this affect our relationship with God today? The splitting of the veil speaks of the depth of the relationship God desires with each of us and invites us to remove any obstacle that prevent us from truly enjoying an intimate friendship with our Maker. Those obstacles are unique for each person. Significant soul searching may be needed to unearth the barriers that stand as a roadblock to communion with our God. The gravity of this invitation is heightened by the reality that it was extended as Jesus shed his blood out of unbounded love and compassion for us.
St. Paul writes of this new connection Jesus established with us by his death: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near by the blood of Christ” (Eph:2:13). As we ponder the significance of the paschal mystery during these holy days, let’s contemplate the special relationship to which Jesus is calling us. May the words of our founder, St. Gaspar, take root in our hearts and bear fruit: “Become more and more a (person) of prayer, of interior life, of a greater union with God.”