Each year I am so excited for Holy Week! I want to get the most out of it and so I have written something for you that I hope will give us both an opportunity to stop, reflect, absorb and learn a little more from this holiest of weeks. Looking at the personal traits of those present during Holy Week and their individual responses to the Crucifixion gives us a tremendous spiritual example and incite into our own temptation struggles! Read and reflect so we all may get the most out of this Holy Week!
Jesus Christ, Our Lord and King – Our Blessed Lord persevered until the end for you. The world wanted a king who was as victorious as Judas Maccabeus, as rich as Solomon and as powerful as Caesar. Jesus is most victorious of all, because He defeated death. Jesus is most rich of all, because His Supreme Sacrifice has the greatest value and may never be taken away. Jesus is most powerful of all because He is fully God and so may do anything. Jesus without an army took over the Roman Empire who was the most powerful army in the world at the time!
Mary the Mother of God remained steadfast, despite the horror and confusion unfolding against her Son. This was only possible by remaining fully united to God.
Mary Magdalene remained steadfast despite her many sins, because she fully loved and trusted God. She knew what she had found in Jesus and so she refused to abandon Him.
Judas was focused on immediacy and temporal things. He cloaked himself in “caring for the poor” but really only desired money and power as a way to influence the world.
Peter was robust and zealous in his love for and faith in Jesus. Peter had witnessed the miracles performed by Jesus, but still was attached to the world, so when the terror and confusion of the Crucifixion struck, fear took over causing Peter to deny Our Lord and hide from Him.
John whose name means “grace of the Lord”, was not standing alone at the Crucifixion. John was standing next to the Mother of God and so was full of grace and able to withstand the temptation of abandoning Jesus and His Mother. This shows us Mary is the primary source of God’s grace.
Thomas, who despite the fact he witnessed multiple miracles performed by Jesus, fled the Crucifixion, constantly requested proof and relied on his own judgment, which ultimately challenged the goodness, fidelity and power of Jesus Christ.
What more may we learn?
Jesus is all good and perfect. Jesus wants us to come to Him and return to Him, no matter what has happened. Jesus did not go through what He went through because He did not mean what He said. Jesus is the way of life on every level and when we turn away from Him for any reason, we are like the Apostles who fled and hid. Judas could have returned to Christ fully, and if he had done this Judas would be a saint, like St. Peter and St. Thomas. God uses this to show us that those who rely on themselves and do not return to Him do not come to a good end.
Judas and Thomas were focused on the here and now. This robbed them of their ability to embrace and appreciate the fullness of God. They were unwilling to fully rely on and believe in God. Self-reliance leads to failure.
Peter and John both loved God, but Peter underestimated himself and relied boldly on himself, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” Matt. 26:35 John did not rely on himself, but was fully united to both Jesus and Mary. A small group stood at the foot of the Cross – not one individual. The small group at the foot of the Cross was united to God and each other.
Mary the Mother of God was so fully united to God that she almost died herself because of His sufferings on the Cross. Mary was the one standing closest to her Son and she was helping Him endure with her love, as He was helping her to endure by sending her His grace.
Mary Magdalene had great humility, which made her love perfect and this was the key for her not to abandon Jesus. Mary Magdalene was not focused on the things of this world, because she had experienced their emptiness first hand. She realized the Treasure and Life she had received in Jesus – and nothing could make her leave Him. Our Lady, St. John & St. Mary Magdalene show us - We must stand together. There is a power when we gather in Jesus Holy Name that is Jesus Himself gracing our humble efforts.
Christ conquers! Christ reigns! Christ orders! Flee, you enemy spirits, because the Lion of the Generation of Judah, the Root of David, has won! Holy God! Holy Powerful God! Holy Immortal God! Have mercy on us. Amen!
Yours In Christ The Risen Lord!
P.S. I received this message from a member and I think it is an awesome idea!
“Imagine what might happen if every Catholic in the world would pray a Rosary on the same day! We have an example in October of 1573, when Europe was saved from the invasion of the mighty Turkish fleet, by the praying of the Rosary by all Christians! So, on Good Friday April 3, 2015, let us all pray a Rosary for peace in the world, a return of moral values into our communities & for the Church. If possible, please pray your Rosary between Noon and 3:00 PM. Also, please e-mail this message to every Catholic on your address list, and ask them to pass it along to every Catholic on their lists. Let's unite in praying one of the most powerful prayers in existence, for these intentions, on one of the holiest days in our Church year. God bless us all! Send this to your prayerful friends and see how the Holy Spirit works! There is a great deal to gain and absolutely nothing to lose!”
“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?’” 1 Corinthians 15:54