Lent is a journey. We go through this time “in the desert” with the Lord, looking forward to that Easter morning, when we celebrate his incredible resurrection. For me, the journey of Lent usually is difficult. It’s difficult not because of the things I chose to fast from during this time, but usually it is because some sort of trial has come my way. Maybe it’s a relationship that is struggling, or someone saying something totally false about you, or feeling distant from God or your family. Whatever the case, it is important to continue on the journey with Christ. And remember that HE is your salvation and he will be your light to help you pass through this time. As the Psalm for today says, “the Lord is my light and my salvation.”
Today’s Gospel (John 13) speaks of Jesus telling the apostles that one will betray him and Peter will deny him. I find myself reading it saying “I can’t believe those guys would betray or deny him. If I would have been there, I wouldn’t have done that.” Sure, a lot easier said than done. The truth is, if I just look at my daily life, I fall short and deny him a lot. I am a sinner. I don’t want to be, but in my weakness I sin. As a Christian, we need to understand that although we may deny our Lord, we must come back to him on our knees begging for his mercy. And the beautiful thing about God is that he is so loving that he desires to give us his mercy. So my brother or sister, go back to him today, and ask him to have mercy on you. Then cling to him.
“The Lord God is my help, therefore, I am not disgraced” (Isaiah 50:4). Ever get into a situation where you feel absolutely humiliated? Maybe it was something you did, something someone said about you, or your eyes were opened to something that you are ashamed. Whatever the case, you come to a point of feeling disgraced. Many times it is undeserving. What do you do? Many of us go to being shamed. But what we are reminded of in today’s first reading is that the Lord is there with you and so you shouldn’t take on the shame and disgrace. We need to focus on the fact that God is our help, not the feelings of shame.
Have you ever received a gift that you didn’t even realize how valuable it was until a while after you got it? Later on you found out it was worth a ton. Well, I would bet that for many of us, we have had the same experience with the gift of the Eucharist. When we receive our first Holy Communion, we dress up all pretty, the whole family comes to town to witnesses the event, yet we really don’t understand the incredible gift we just received. And for most of us we go through much of our life not realizing how valuable the gift is for years. Think about how absolutely incredible the Eucharist is. We are talking about the all-powerful, all-knowing God who created all, and who desires to be with us so much that he physically comes into our own body through the Eucharist. We don’t have to imagine the Lord coming into our heart; he actually does it physically. So tonight, as we celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper, may we begin to understand the valuable gift God gave us in his own body and blood.
Today is Good Friday. The day our Lord Jesus was crucified. The day when the innocent and spotless lamb was slaughtered for our sins. So let me propose just one question to you…
How much does Jesus love you? He gave you the answer. “This much,” as he stretched out his arms on the cross… and died. For you.
That’s how much he loves you. Think about it.
Three days. He laid in a tomb for three days. What can you do in three days? You can’t build a house, but you can fly to the other side of the world. You can’t conceive life and have a child, but you can celebrate a birthday or wedding. I guess there are lots of things you can do and some you can’t. But look what God did in three days. He looked death straight in the eye and beat it! He overcame the one thing that none of us can ever beat. He took what was thought to be impossible and made it the cornerstone of our faith. We could take our whole life and we still wouldn’t be able to overcome death. Yet he did it in three days. As we continue through this time that he laid in the tomb, may we keep watch for tomorrow morning when Jesus will be victorious and do more than we ever could… in just three days!
Did you look at the newspaper today? Did you see the good news? Oops. Wrong place to look for the Good News. The real Good News is in today’s Gospel. It is now the third day since Jesus was crucified and died. Yet today we get to look through the crucifixion to resurrection! Yep, He did it. He overcame death and rose from the dead. Jesus is risen! Alleluia! That’s not just good news, that’s great news. Incredible news. Unbelievable news! Only God could pull this off. I guess that means it’s not unbelievable, but rather gives us a reason to believe in this awesome God of ours. Today, may we celebrate the greatest victory of all-time! Happy Easter!