Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

"But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed."
Isaiah 53:5

Today we walk the long journey to Calvary with Jesus.  His journey is indeed our journey and our journey, his.  Along our journey we may feel condemned, persecuted.  We may fall, several times along the way, just as Jesus fell beneath the weight of his cross.  We may also feel the crushing weight of our crosses on our shoulders and at times we may feel too weak to continue.  But that may be when we are helped along the way by seeing friends, family, even strangers who may step in and help us, just as Simon helped Jesus carry his cross.  We continue to walk with Jesus and we may fall again, this is getting so hard!  We may feel lonely at times, and at others, we may feel the press of a crowd; others either supporting us or not.  Their presence may help or hinder, but there they are.  We accompany Jesus to the top of the hill and we watch as the sky turns dark and quiet.  Everything quiet but the sound of the nails. Then the last cries of One who tried so hard, loved so fully and never wavered from his mission.  It is finished.  But not really.  Love, heidi

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Because that's what Jesus did...

"And let us think that this sign (Jesus washing the feet of the disciples) is a caress of Jesus, which Jesus gives, because this is the real reason why Jesus came: to serve, to help us."
Pope Francis at the Prison for Minors in Rome, Holy Thursday, 2013
After this homily, Pope Francis washed the feet of twelve young inmates, male and female, Christian and Muslim.  Why? Because that is what Jesus would do.  Because that is what Jesus did.  Because that is what Jesus does, even today, through us.  As we go about our Holy Thursday today, let's be vigilantly aware of opportunities we have to wash the feet of others.  We are called to serve others, just as Jesus showed us by washing the feet of the disciples.  And Jesus can only do that today, through the work of our hands.  Whatever our day holds for us, it includes loving and serving others, even if it is a simple task of holding the door open for a stranger at the Post Office.  Let's picture Jesus all day today, on his hands and knees, washing the feet of those he loved...and those who would betray and deny him.  For that is what he did.  Love, heidi

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Judas--the first freed soul?

"Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, 'Surely it is not I, Rabbi?' (Jesus) answered, 'You have said so.'"
Matthew 26:25
I have been mystified by Judas ever since I was a kid.  He seemed like such a sinister character in some movie I watched deep into my childhood. In fact, I can still see him hanging there, from a tree, after taking his own life.  I've spent time comparing his sin to Peter's denial and felt fairly sure that Jesus would have forgiven Judas, indeed, DID forgive Judas.  I believe Judas was, perhaps, the first desolate soul Jesus visited and set free after his own death.  We never know at what point a soul recognizes Jesus coming toward him just before death.  I take comfort in the fact that God doesn't want to lose a single one of us.  God gives us every chance to come around.  Before he gave up his life in despair, Judas recognized his error and went back to the Chief Priests to correct his mistake and give back the silver.  Judas knew he was wrong.  Today, according to the Holy Week Sequence, should be a day of silence and prayer, preparing for the Holy Triduum.  Carve out some time to just be alone with Jesus today or tonight.  Spend some time, thanking God that we don't have to despair like Judas.  We know that Jesus lives and forgives.  Love, heidi

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I'll save you!!

"'Master, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.'"
John 13:37
If I had to choose who I am in today's Gospel, I feel I'd choose Peter.  Dear Peter, so boastful and full of himself.  "I'll stick with you!  I'll help!"  And then, just like Peter, I would wimp out when push comes to shove. It's so easy to say we're strong and can handle something, but completely different when it actually happens and our boastfulness is put to the test.  Or when difficult times come and our faith is put to the test.  Lucky for me and my look-alike Peter, Jesus gives us a second chance.  "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" (John 21:17)  Jesus asks Peter after the Resurrection, three times--one for each of Peter's denials.  Peter has the opportunity to make it right with Jesus, and so do we.  Let's walk the journey this week, Friends!  Even though we feel powerless and weak.  We need to just BE there with Jesus!  Love, heidi

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Who am I? Where is my heart?

 “We would do well to ask just one question: who am I? Who am I, before my Lord? Who am I, who enters into Jerusalem in celebration? Am I able to express my joy, to praise Him? Or do I keep distant? Who am I, before Jesus Who suffers?”
Pope Francis, during his Palm Sunday homily (link below)
This was an amazing thing to sit and pray with today, Palm Sunday.  I decided that I probably would be a person in the crowd, following the whole deal, but too afraid to become involved.  I would have possibly been a follower of Jesus, finding him fascinating and wanting to be around him, but completely fearful to rock the boat as Jesus entered into his Passion.  I would be too fearful about what would happen to me--it's all about me, you see, unfortunately.  Maybe I wouldn't be one who shouts, "Crucify him!" But I also wouldn't race up and offer to wipe his face with my veil or scold the soldiers for being too rough.  I would, however, walk along the road to Calvary.  Jesus would glance over and see me in the crowd.  I could look into his eyes and my heart would beat faster and, just for an instant, I would want to do something--anything! But, fear would take over and I would helplessly just walk along.  The look in Jesus' eyes will stay with me forever.  The love. The compassion.  Jesus knows my fear and yet, Jesus reveals his love for me in his eyes. "It'll be OK," Jesus' eyes tell me.  My prayer for this Holy Week is this:
Jesus, I want to share your journey and maybe comfort you just a tiny bit.  Please help me to stay awake, to be with you every step of the way.  Please don't let me get distracted by the trivia of this world this week.  I want to only walk with you on this difficult journey.  Amen.  Love, heidi