Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"They Were Cut to the Heart"

This phrase from the first reading today should strike us: “they were cut to the heart.” The phrase elicits a great deal of dramatic imagery, but it is no greater than the preceding imagery of “this Jesus whom you crucified.”

We all do share this need for forgiveness; we share a guilt in our turning to sin in our weakest moments. This forgiveness doesn’t come without a cost, nor does He force it without our participation in it. We are called to repent, often weeping in sorrow. We may believe all is lost—but there is great promise in the Resurrection, first of Christ and then for us through His Resurrection to our newness of life. We might not immediately recognize Him on the Way, but He will indeed call us by name. Then that once clouded visage will become clear in our midst. This is not simply a principle or an ideal. It is a person: Jesus Christ, through whom and with whom and in whom forgiveness and mercy is made manifest.

His mercy endures forever. Pray that the Holy Spirit may help our unbelief and that our Heavenly Father may forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others theirs on the Way.

  • How do I handle my need for forgiveness?
  • How do I choose to forgive others? Where can I find more opportunities to share my forgiveness of others and the hope that the Resurrection of Christ provides?

Originally published in:
Aggie Catholic: Year of Faith Lenten Reflections 2014
St. Mary's Catholic Center

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Keeping Company with the Lord

"I keep up the Holy Hour to grow more and more into his likeness. As Paul puts it: "We are transfigured into his likeness, from splendor to splendor." We become like that which we gaze upon. Looking into a sunset, the face takes on a golden glow. Looking at the Eucharistic Lord for an hour transforms the heart in a mysterious way as the face of Moses was transformed after his companionship with God on the mountain. Something happens to us similar to that which happened to the disciples at Emmaus. On Easter Sunday afternoon when the Lord met them, he asked why they were so gloomy. After spending some time in his presence, and hearing again the secret of spirituality - "The Son of Man must suffer to enter into his Glory" - their time with him ended and their "hearts were on fire." - Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Treasure in Clay)
This reminds me again of the Polish proverb I've shared elsewhere previously, which is translated loosely: "You become like the company you keep."

Indeed, it is holding a Lover's gaze. And to be in that Gaze! We all desire love! We all wish to be loved! To be forgiven! To have all of our sins washed away!

His presence is enough.

Indeed, if we would recall this important reminder, we would so readily run to the Blessed Sacrament.

We would not run to it because of its semblance of bread and wine. It would be in spite of it. We would go despite our disbelief, others' disdain, even mockery of it. We would go because of His very Word: "THIS IS MY BODY GIVEN UP FOR YOU."

Today as we did at the close of Good Friday, we stand watch at the Tomb. We are inconsolable, but we have knowledge that the first disciples knew not... Easter is on its way.

"They have taken His body!" we think in sadness as the third day draws near and horror sets in on Easter morning of the empty tomb. But what is horror at first blush is rejoicing with the morning. For when He calls our name, we hear him. When He casts His gaze upon us, He sees us. And when He draws near to us, we remain in Him (cf. John 15).

His Presence never fades. Love wins.