Friday, January 21, 2011

The Suffering Hermit of God

Among the four hymns about the servant of Yahweh found in the book of Isaiah, the 3rd hymn stands supreme in content and verse. While chapter 42 of Isaiah speaks about the servant,  a light to nations, chapter 50 speaks about servant’s humiliation and vindication, chapter 61 declares about the servant’s deliverance, chapter 53 describes about the suffering Servant of Yahweh. This chapter perhaps is one of the dramatic description of the pathos of the servant of Yahweh.
Needless to say that it is a messianic prophecy of Christ’s passion and death. It may sound malo-dramatic with the pathetic servant. But the description is of the typical nature of the suffering Jesus from Gethsemany to Calvary. Hence, the 53 chapter of Isaiah is the description of the good Friday drama on Calvary. It therefore describes the suffering Servant of Yahweh in its fullest expression.
Many spiritual writers hold that the suffering servant of Yahweh is the model for many a saint and sage in his/her trials, difficulties, pains and sufferings. Those who suffered like Christ or deemed to be the suffering Servant of Yahweh. In this regard Fr. Susainather may be easily considered as suffering hermit of God in the foot steps of His Master the suffering servant of Yahweh.
To prove this statement we can enumerate or catalogue the sufferings both physical and mental found in the life of Fr. Susainather. For a span of 14 years Fr. Susainather was in the cauldron of cruciating pain. His wound in the leg caused by his fall from horse, his bed ridden life with paralysis, his loss of sight, the loss of the power of the speech and the ailment of strangulated herenia  and many other sufferings made him a suffering man. 
With all these pains, Fr. Susainather emulated Christ’s patience and his Christian patience was an echo of the words of St. James, the apostle, “Be patient therefore until the coming of the Lord.” (James 5:7) The book of Sirach observes “for gold is tested in the fire and those found acceptable in the furnace of humiliation”. Fr. Susainather was patient to be tested in the fire of sufferings and humiliations. He was very much smelted in the fire of tribulations and proved himself worthy and acceptable victim of the Paschal mystery. “He was like a lamb that is lead to the slaughter and like a sheep that before its shearers was silent, so he did not open his mouth”. (con  Is 53:7). Fr. Susainather never opened his mouth to utter  any complaint; never did he elamour for the removal of his sufferings. He was a  silent  because a suffering hermit in his cruciating pain and in his bed of suffering. This was the heroic patience of Fr. Susainather.The example of the suffering Servant of Yahweh because the way of life of the suffering hermit of God. 
Christ did not suffer for the sake of Suffering Servant. He suffered for a sublime cause, because for the reparation of the sins of humanity and the redemption of mankind. This concept was the cause and result of the sufferings of Fr.Susainather. Indeed he suffered in reparation for the sins of the world. The 14 years of the suffering  `for him, the 14 stations of the Cross through which he was able to expiate for his sins and the sins of many. This was the sublime ideal of Fr. Susainather’s suffering and the secret of his lashing endurance and patience. 
Would that we emulate this patience of Fr.Susainather in atoning for our sins.
Fr. Xavier Jothi
K.G.F,   Bangalore

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