A Day in the Life of a Former Campus Priest at CUA,
I was the Pastor of a GREAT Parish is Kensington CT.. ST. Paul Church
Now I've received a warm welcome at St. Anne Church in Columbus GA
Friday, March 26, 2010
Palm Sunday Year C - 2010
Holy Ones I would like to share with you just a few thoughts after the powerful reading of the Passion of our Lord.
We all know the world is just not compassionate.
Everyday people walk by those in need without offering help.
Sometimes when someone is being robbed or mugged and they call for help no one even comes to their aid.
Sometimes people are so afraid of getting involved that they don’t even call the police to get help.
For years and years and years people without means have been refused medical treatment or received substandard medical treatment.
I know of families where the Mom and the Dad had to civilly divorce each other in order for one of them to get the medical care they needed.
When the economy crashed little mercy has been shown for those who, through no fault of their own are unable to make their payments.
Mercy is a rare commodity indeed…
When we fail
When we suffer
When we are confused or have doubts
When we have an illness or addiction
When we are tired or burdened
When we make mistakes
When we have financial problems
The world, offers us little compassion or understanding. And yet that’s exactly the opposite of how Jesus would have us live In the Passion from St. Luke we just heard Jesus offered compassion over and over again.
When he knew he was facing death Jesus did not get lost in his own worries or suffering instead he showed compassion for his disciples and gave them the incredible gift of the Eucharist and his eternal promise to be a part of our lives forever.
“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer,
he said…Then he took the bread, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you;
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
which will be shed for you. Do this in memory of Me.”
Jesus, a man who was facing a horrible death, was focused on those He loved.
His thought and concerns were not for Himself but rather for his disciples.
When Jesus knew that Peter would betray Him… He didn’t yell at Peter or berate him or reject him,
rather He showed compassion and prayed for him.
Jesus tried to assure him that even though he knew of Peter’s betrayal he still loved him.
“Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded
to sift all of you like wheat,
but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail;
and once you have turned back,
you must strengthen your brothers.”
When the disciples feel asleep as He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane,
Jesus did not tell them how disappointed he was in them but rather encouraged them to get up and pray,
so that they could remain faithful in the future when they themselves would face the ultimate test.
“Why are you sleeping?
Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test.”
When Judas arrived and betrayed Him
Jesus tried to search deep within Judas’ soul to see if there was anyway to save Him and in his desperation He said
“Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
Her hoped that Judas would remember their friendship and the life they shared.
Alas, He found only a hardened despairing heart in his former friend and Apostle.
And when the disciples started to fight or battle for Jesus… He said
“Stop, no more of this!”
Then He showed His compassion once more by touching the ear of the servant who had been wounded and healing him.
And even when He hung above the world on the cross in agony, He was full of compassion and He begged for His executioners and He begged for each and every one of us.
when He said.
“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
Finally when a criminal, who had led a life ridden with selfishness and violence and sin, begged for mercy in His final moments Jesus said
“Amen, I say to you,today you will be with me in Paradise.”
The good thief was given incredible compassion indeed.
You know even in the best of times when things are going really well it is not easy to be merciful
But you can really tell the measure of a man by how compassionate he is
when he is a difficult situation,
When his life is threatened or
when he suffers.
Only then can you really see how compassionate a person can be.
With all that He faced and all that He suffered Jesus remained compassionate until the end.
The world would be such a better place if all of us did the same.
Let’s be merciful
Let’s be forgiving
Let’s be gracious with those who fail
Let’s be compassionate
I encourage you, I beg you, all to invest deeply in Christ’s love for us this week.
I know most of you are going home to be with your families.
Try your best to attend all of the Easter Triduum Liturgies.
On Holy Thursday we remember the Lord’s supper and the Eucharist.
We also remember the gift of humble service that all of us are called to share.
On Friday we mediate once more on the love of our God who hangs from a cross.
On Saturday there is the beautiful Easter Vigil it is long but so very meaningful.
In it we trace the history of salvation, renew our baptismal promises and welcome new members into the Church.
All of these will be celebrated on our Campus for those who plan on staying and in your parishes for those who are going home.
Tomorrow night we will have our Traditional Candle Light way of the cross. It is very moving, as different groups of students carry the cross around campus and meditate on Jesus’ final steps on earth.
I encourage everyone here to participate.
Sisters and Brothers…
Lets us all strive with all our heart to be more compassionate like Christ who laid down his life for each and everyone of us.
He laid down his life so that we might be set free from sin and better able to love compassionately .