Posted March 27, 2015
YES LORD, I DO LOVE YOU
As I ‘mature’, I find that I do not have the steel-trap memory I enjoyed when I was younger. Everyone in our family would call on me if something they needed went missing. I had great recall in those situations. Now I struggle to remember where I left my car keys. Yet as poor as my memory has become in some areas, I seem to have no problem remembering every hurtful experience from my past.
This year as part of my Lenten journey I have been trying to let go of these old resentments. They are hurtful ghosts from my past that visit me at random moments and in which I relive painful events that should be ancient history. I find myself feeling the same pain as when the incident first occurred. I always am quite sure I have forgiven the person(s) who hurt me, but the remembering lingers. I feel hurt and angry when the thoughts return; I am resentful because in my mind I didn’t deserve what happened to me. Most of all I want those negative thoughts and feelings to stop haunting me!
A friend directed me to a Scripture passage: John 21. This passage recounts the resurrected Jesus meeting Peter following Peter’s betrayal. It is interesting that in this passage Peter does not beg Christ’s forgiveness; nor does Jesus speak words of forgiveness to Peter. Instead, Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him. Peter responds three times the familiar response “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” And those words were all that was needed to heal the painful rejection and help Peter find peace.
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of our remembrance of Christ’s Passion. If anyone had the right to feel resentment and harbor hurt feelings, it was Jesus. He had done nothing to deserve what happened to Him, and yet throughout the entire ordeal, he lives the call to truth and love to which we also have been called. I invite you to take some time this coming week to walk with Jesus and examine your heart. Hear the words of Christ ask, “Do you love me?” If you too are harboring old resentments, try to replace feelings of hurt with thoughts of love, and accept His love for you.
Each of us is called to love … without calculation, without measures of fairness, without thoughts of making things right. If past events are truly left in the past, then we can focus our energy, not on painful and useless resentment, but on life-giving love. And here’s good news: remembering the many experiences of love in our lives can bring joy and peace.
Mrs. Kathy England, Pastoral Associate
HOSANNA: At Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the people shouted “Hosanna.” Some paraphrase this as “hooray”. But really hosanna is from the Hebrew words “Hoshiah Na!” which means “Save now!” or “Save, we beseech thee”. It voices our desire for God to give us help from oppression!” Deliver us now “in the highest” praise.
Change Our Hearts: Our Parish Lenten Journey
Our parish small groups will be winding down this week, and many will say they have found the experience rewarding and grace-filled. For this final reflection, we take a few lines from Kelly’s final chapter, hearing how they echo our central narrative: the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus.
In the final chapter of his book, The Four Signs of A Dynamic Catholic, Matthew Kelly poses the question: How will you respond? This is a key point of departure from the book and from ideas that may have been stimulated by prayer among those who have read this book for Lent and shared prayer around the Gospels.
Now what? How will you respond to the experiences of Lent? In the Gospel reading for Easter, we see Mary Magdalene respond by running to her friends, her support group, the disciples. Many St X small groups may continue to meet and pray together. We also see John and Peter returning in hopes of seeing Jesus. John saw and believed. Perhaps you have “seen” the Lord’s invitation in these past weeks, and you are moved to follow that idea and put it into action. “Are you ready to let Jesus take you to the next level in your spiritual life?” (p. 211) Then perhaps in your final sharing group you may list the ways that you could go forward with a new vision or mission. You may see the road ahead more clearly, or see a deeper faith, or a task to start.
Whether you were in a small group or not, or even having read this book and listened carefully to the Gospels this past month, I encourage all on this Lenten journey to allow God to “change your heart” for the betterment of our parish family and of the larger community. Be bold. Be Catholic (p. 209), and continue to go and set the world on fire.
Fr. Patrick Fairbanks, S.J. Pastor