Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spy Wednesday

The Wednesday of Holy Week is known as "Spy Wednesday". Tradition holds that it is the day when Judas conspired with the authorities to betray Christ. Take a look at this video for a quick explanation...

Pope Francis spoke about Holy Week. His comments about following Christ are very appropriate for anyone discerning a religious vocation. I've included some of his address below. Note how he mentions the excuses we all give "I have no time" but the challenge for us all as disciples of Christ is to "step outside" of ourself.

For those who are discerning a religious vocation, I invite you to read his comments (see below) closely and reflect on them...

"Following, accompanying Christ, remaining with Him requires a "stepping outside," a stepping beyond. Stepping outside of ourselves, of a tired and routine way of living the faith, of the temptation to withdraw into pre-established patterns that end up closing our horizon to the creative action of God. God stepped outside of Himself to come among us, He pitched His tent among us to bring the mercy of God that saves and gives hope. Even if we want to follow Him and stay with Him, we must not be content to remain in the enclosure of the ninety-nine sheep, we have to "step outside", to search for the lost sheep together with Him, the one furthest away. Remember well: stepping outside of ourselves, like Jesus, like God has stepped outside of Himself in Jesus and Jesus stepped outside of Himself for all of us.

Some might say to me, "Brother, I have no time", "I have so many things to do", "it is difficult", "what can I do with my little strength?", with my failures, with so many things? Often we settle for a few prayers, a distracted and inconsistent presence at Sunday Mass, a random act of charity, but we lack this courage to "step outside" to bring Christ. We are a bit like St. Peter. As soon as Jesus speaks of the Passion, Death and Resurrection, of self-giving, of love for all, the Apostle takes him aside and rebukes him. What Jesus says upsets his plans, seems unacceptable, it undermines the sense of security that he had built up, his idea of ​​the Messiah. And Jesus looks at the disciples and addresses Peter with perhaps one of the strongest words of the Gospel: "Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do"(Mk 8:33).

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