Faith: Allow Holy Week to move you
Holy Week is upon us. It can be a very moving week if we enter prayerfully into the meditations connected to Jesus’s passion, death and resurrection. I know the meditations move me to live more humbly and at the same time with more confidence in relation to our great God.
Saint John Paul II had many wonderful quotes during his pontificate. Here is one of his quotes: “We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.”
God desires for us to choose him and continue to live in relationship with him. We are not worthy of this relationship, but God continues to invite us to follow him. We are marked by our faithfulness to him. Though we sin, and sin often, God wants us to realize that we are marked primarily by our dedication to God and his will.
We fall at times, but if we continue to get back up and strive for deeper conversion, this is very pleasing to God. God desires our union with him so greatly.
Good Friday is at the heart of Holy Week. In fact, Jesus’s heart is at the heart of Holy Week. Jesus’s heart was pierced so that we could know an everlasting relationship with God: “We are the sum of the Father’s love for us ....”
Jesus’s heart longs for communion with us. God did not need to save us. We are unworthy of being saved because of our sinful choices. However, God did save us by sending his Son to suffer and die, to pay the price of our sin and to show us the way to the Kingdom, the perfect place where we will live and reign with him forever.
When we meditate upon Jesus’s passion narrative on Good Friday, we should be moved to live more humbly. We should realize what our sin does to God with each blow and whip that Jesus endured. Our sin kills our relationship with God. Therefore, we should live more humbly.
At the same time, we should realize over and over again “the Father’s love for us.” God would even go through the horror of the passion so that he could spend eternity with us. In meditating upon the passion of Christ, we should be in awe with how much God loves us.
And in realizing his love for us, we should be inspired to live more fully for him. When we struggle through life, we should not despair due to fear connected with the consequences of our sin. Rather, we should realize again the love God has for us and live confidently in relation to God because he longs for lasting communion with us.
So, let us be marked by “our real capacity to become the image of his Son.” Though all of us are created in the image and likeness of God, sometimes we do not truly reveal the love of God. We should strive to make this our aim because we do not want to forfeit union with God.
I hope Holy Week is a rich experience for all of us, but especially for people who are feeling the burden of life and the consequences of poor decisions. Know that God loves you and that he cares deeply for you.
Will you allow yourself to see God’s love for you this Holy Week?
Father Blake Rozier is pastor of Immaculate Heart Church in Crosslake and St. Emily's Catholic Church.