Wednesday, March 27, 2013

To live Holy Week

     I am so impressed with the simplicity of our Holy Father Francis' words and admonitions.  In his general audience this Wednesday he spoke about Holy Week, Christ and ourselves.  Here is some of what he said:

     "But what does it mean for us to live Holy Week?  What does it mean to follow Jesus on His way to the Cross on Calvary and the Resurrection?  In His earthy mission, Jesus walked the streets of the Holy Land; He called twelve simple people to remain with Him, to share His journey and continue His mission; He chose them among the people full of faith in the promises of God.  He spoke to everyone, without distinction, to the great and the lowly, to the rich young man and to the poor widow, the powerful and the weak; He brought the mercy and forgiveness of God to all; He healed, comforted, understood, gave hope.  He led all to the presence of God, who is interested in every man and woman, like a good father and a good mother is interested in each child.

     God did not wait for us to go to Him, but He moved towards us, without calculation, without measures.  This is how God is: He is always the first, He moves towards us.  Jesus lived the daily realities of most ordinary people: He was moved by the crowd that seemed like a flock without a shepherd, and He cried in front of the suffering of Martha and Mary on the death of their brother Lazarus; He called a tax collector to be His disciple and he suffered the betrayal of a friend.  In Christ, God has given us the assurance that He is with us, in our midst.  'Foxes', Jesus said, 'have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest His head' (Mt 8:20).  Jesus did not have a home because His house is the people - that is, us; His mission is to open all God's doors, to be the loving presence of God."

     His house is the people - that is, us!
     His mission is to open all God's doors,
    to be the loving presence of God!

     Of course I know those words and the truth they reveal, but I was struck by the simple power of those words spoken again with humility. 

     He concluded the address by saying: "Holy Week is a time of grace which the Lord gifts us to open the doors of our hearts, our lives, our parishes ...and to 'step outside' towards others, to draw close to them so we can bring the light and joy of our faith.  Always step outside yourself!"

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