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Lessons from Holy Week







Lessons from Holy Week

Holy Week has some powerful truths to tell us if one can ponder them.   This also means contemplating one's life.   If a Christian, this can lead to a deeper understanding of one of life’s mysteries.  That is of course, why there is so much injustice in the world, so much random suffering.  No one escapes suffering, not even the richest and most powerful.  In fact, in their way, they may suffer more than others.  Being rich and powerful brings pitfalls that those of us who are more ordinary do not have to face. 

No one likes to suffer.  When there is no meaning to one’s suffering, I believe it makes it twice as bad, and harder to bear.  To think of suffering means looking at life in a broader context.   Is it something we simply endure until death?  For many that answer is yes.   For the Christian believer, there are other ways to tackle this problem. 

Like any path of any depth, the path to deeper faith, understanding, and trust can be a slow one.  Growth in the spiritual life takes at least some discipline and focus.  We can parrot pious sayings, the living them out is another reality altogether. 

If people want to know what you believe and hold to, they can see it in how you live out your beliefs.  Faith is a leaven that over time fills our souls.  It is not some black-and-white, quote bible verse kind of thing.   If we speak from the heart, if we seek to follow Christ, and do so through deep suffering, as well as joy, we will become a conduit for the Spirit to speak through us.   If not, we can become just an empty barrel speaking words that are not believed or followed by the speaker.   People see this, we all see it when the dichotomy is so great that we know that we may want to listen, but not follow the example of the one preaching, or speaking.

Jesus lived out who he was.  What he was caused great hatred and fear.  When Jesus looked at someone, he saw the truth about that person.  He saw, loved, and sought to heal and bring salvation.  The only people he was rough with were people like me, professional and religious.  We can be the worst.  He had to use rough tactics to get our attention.   Yes, tough love.

Jesus endured every kind of indignity that can be endured by any human.   Yet, he never stopped loving.  On the cross he forgave all, that is something to ponder.

We are called to that.  Our response to suffering will test our faith, and in that, we grow because we choose.   Peter fell, yet he got back up again, and he responded with grace.   Judas did not.   We all must be tested by fire.   So, reading, and praying over the Gospels can help us to be open to the Holy Spirit.   The more we seek the wisdom in the Scriptures, the more we will love and respond to the Word of God. 

If we are not on the way slowly growing into the person that Jesus is calling us to be, it is a waste of time to seek to change others.  If we do not love others, our preaching is rooted in the type of judgment that Jesus strongly forbids. 

So, this Holy Week, ponder how Jesus suffered, how he responded to his dark night of profound suffering, and where it led him.   May we all follow in his footsteps.-Br.MD

Edited by markdohle


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