1. Our Lord had for a long time been silent. A thick darkness had gathered; most of the spectators had departed in fear. The mocking Pharisees had been awed to silence. Few were left save the soldiers, St. John, and a faithful group of holy women. All at once a piercing cry from the Divine Sufferer breaks the silence, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me ?" These words were an expression of the thick darkness which Our Lord had permitted to gather round His human soul, and to hide from Him as it were the face of His Eternal Father. This desolation was by far the greatest of all the unspeakable sufferings of the Son of God.
2. What was its cause? Nothing else but sin. He was made sin for us, and having thus identified Himself with the sins of men so far as was possible for the sinless Lamb of God, He allowed Himself to experience to the utmost degree that He could the awful misery which is the consequence of sin—the black, dark hopelessness (if the word is a lawful one) which results to the sinner whom God forsakes. This consequence of sin Jesus took upon Himself to save men from the eternal remorse and despair which otherwise would have been their lot.
3. This cry of Jesus is a model prayer for us in times of darkness and desolation. We sometimes feel as if God had forsaken us, and cry out in our misery and sore distress. We are always safe in echoing Jesus' words, and He Who hears us use them will remember His own dereliction and help us in ours.
Source: The Sacred Passion of Jesus Christ - Short Meditations for Everyday in Lent,
by Richard F. Clarke, S.J. Imprimatur 1889