I did a reflection for my parish community this morning. It's very different from other reflections I have done because it is essentially composed of the contents of an email I sent my director when I just didn't know what to say from among all the notes I had written and the various starts I had made. She responded that the homily was right in front of me in the paragraphs she was reading. N.B.,The pronouns were shifted from "them" to "you" when I addressed the assembly. Anyway, I sincerely hope this helps readers move into the Triduum. N.B., an emboldened section has been added to explain the distinction between what God does and does not will. I felt that was needed.
**** N.B. a central or defining dimension of death is the final decision one makes for or against God. It is possible to say that God willed this dimension of Jesus' death but not the circumstances that occasioned the death or the manner in which this whole event comes about. In Christian theology this decision is the very essence of death; it is a final and definitive decision for or against God. For this reason to speak of "willing one's death" is to speak of "willing one's final decision"; from this perspective the word "death" means "definitive decision". The two terms are interchangeable or synonymous.
When we consider the question of "What did God will and what did God NOT will?" through this lens, what God willed was not Jesus' torture and crucifixion, but his exhaustive self-emptying --- his definitive decision for God and the sovereignty of God. In Jesus' death this kenotic decision was realized in ultimate openness to whatever God would be and do ---even in abject godlessness. Understanding death in this way allows us to tease apart more satisfactorily what was and what was not the will of God with regard to Jesus' passion and death. In referring to this defining dimension of death we are allowed to say, "God willed Christ's death." It is also by forgetting this very specific definition of death (i.e., death as radical or definitive decision for or against God) that we have been led to tragically and mistakenly affirm the notion that the torture Jesus experienced at human hands and as the fruit of human cruelty and injustice was the will of God.