The Passion

The Passion
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The Passion

Watercolor, 16” x 20”
Private collection

In the language of the Christian church, “the Passion” refers to the sufferings of Christ following the Last Supper, through His Crucifixion. In Christian tradition, the goldfinch came to represent the Passion, because people believed the bird to live entirely upon thorny plants such as the thistle.

The physical suffering of Christ in the last hours of His life is unfathomable. Indeed, the life of the average person in Jesus’ time was full of suffering and physical hardships. This remains true for the majority of the world’s people today. Despite inevitable losses and pain, our lives, by comparison, are easy. Most of us would not want that to change.

Nevertheless, while we may not seek out a diet of thorns, we may welcome the unavoidable lessons of pain in one way: It is only in knowing pain that we grow. The lessons of our trials are not in vain. In the end, they may transform us, moving us to the action of love, so that we work to make a better life for others.

Like the goldfinch, having found nourishment among the thorns, our spirit then flies to greater heights.

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