A Lenten Renewal:
Reflections on the Mass readings in light of our daily lives
By Mother Marie Julie, SCMC
My Dear Good People,
John 10:31-42: Today we find more hostility among the enemies of Jesus. They picked up rocks to stone Jesus at the beginning of this Gospel, and at the end of the Gospel we read, they tried again to arrest Him; but He escaped from their power. On Saturday we will read that the high priest and his supporters from that day on…planned to kill Him (Jn. 11:53). And on (Palm) Sunday we will share in the account of the Passion according to Mark.
What are we to say in the face of this opposition to Jesus?
With all this before the eyes of our hearts, how do we respond?
The Church’s hope for us is that we will be steeped in a growing understanding of the price Jesus paid for us. After thirty years of quiet existence in Nazareth and three years of preaching, healing and teaching in His public life, it comes to this: Jesus will be arrested, condemned and executed–for what crime? The crime of loving us to the end. And He knew that when He came to earth. He was under no illusion.
There would be many who would hang on His words, follow Him unreservedly, be converted and live exemplary lives for His sake. But there would also be those who would refuse to believe. They would close their hearts to Him for any number of reasons, and there would be the seeming desolation on the Cross when He would die as a common criminal. We all know this. We know how this story ends. Until the resurrection, there will be fear and doubt among His closest friends.
But for us who now see His Passion and Death from the vantage point of time, there is only Hope. Hope that the world will see the truth. Hope that we will remain faithful to the end. Hope that His death will not be in vain for any one of us. And we bow in adoration of the Mystery of the love of God for each one of us.
There are precious few days of Lent left. We cannot close our forty days of Lent without having spent some time in prayer and reflection on the wondrous self-gift of Jesus. We might slowly, over the next few days, read the four accounts of the Passion in the Gospels, or look for meditations on the Passion on the many websites available to us. We might spend a bit more time in our parish adoration chapel, or sit quietly before the crucifix in our room asking Mary for Her Heart to love Jesus more deeply. Is it possible to plan to attend one or more of the Holy Week services in our church, or follow them on line from the parish to which we belong?
This much is certain: we cannot enter the Holiest Week of the Year with eyes turned away from the Person of Jesus. I invite you to join me in praying for those individuals (perhaps you know someone in particular) for whom this coming week will be just one more week among many weeks.
May our hearts be softened to the suffering of the world
as we consider the suffering of Our Jesus.
God bless you, dear souls precious to God.