Monday, April 06, 2009

Journey with Jesus

April 7, 2009

Tuesday of Holy Week

By Beth DeCristofaro

It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth. (Isaiah 49:6)

Peter said to him, "Master, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times." (John 13:37, 38)


God of such unwavering love, how do I "celebrate" the passion and death of Jesus? I often want to look the other way and not watch, not stay with Jesus in his suffering. Give me the strength to see his love with honesty and compassion and to feel deeply your own forgiveness and mercy for me. Help me to understand how to "celebrate" this week. I want be able to bring my weaknesses and imperfections with me as I journey with Jesus this week, so aware of his love. May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen. (Creighton University)


How lonely Jesus must have felt. He was at the cusp of his life’s purpose, among friends, and yet utterly alone. Judas will betray him. Peter will deny him. The disciple He loved best will flee into the dark along with the others.

Holy Week is a difficult week. I come face to face with the horror of the Passion and the darkness of my own iniquity which is all too often ignored. Betrayals, denial, refusing to stand up for righteousness are all part of my sinful nature. I leave Jesus alone all too often.

This week allows us to confront what is most painful and human about ourselves while at the same time to acknowledge and accept what is most true: we have already been chosen by God because of our Baptism and God’s will to be with us. God did not reject the Israelites even when they felt God’s judgment. Jesus did not reject Judas, Peter, John or even Pilate. Jesus’ sadness and loneliness is infused with mercy and his knowledge that he is about the business of God. God’s will be done. God will never leave the Israelites, Jesus or us.


A friend recently visited the Holy Land. She was struck by the ruggedness of the land and the difficult terrain of the Via Dolorosa. She advised me to make my pilgrimage while my knees are still strong! As we walk the Passion with Jesus this week, make notes of the moments when our knees are weak or we fall under our own personal cross. Know that Jesus is on his knees with us. Celebrate that we can get back up and continue our walk because Jesus has been there first and has overcome the Dolorosa to reside within us and to fill us with his eternal mercy and love.

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