Today’s Thoughts: We find ourselves beginning the last full week of Lent and the drama of our faith story has heightened. Jesus can feel the forces of evil closing in on him, so he enters into prayer. Not a prayer of intercession or need but a prayer of thanksgiving for the strength the Father has given him so that he can fulfill the purpose for which he came into his world.
We might say that our Gospel today gives us a preview of Jesus' agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Today Jesus is not in a garden with his three closest friends, who seem to be having trouble staying awake. No, in today’s Gospel scene Jesus is in Jerusalem and a large diverse crowd has gathered. In fact, some in the crowd are gentles. As Jesus speaks he draws the crowd and us to the cross, to its agony and its triumph. We are invited to see the glory of the cross and to learn from Jesus' great act of love.
Our scriptures today invite us to prepare our hearts, to open our hearts to God. If we are willing to open our hearts to God then God is willing to create a clean heart within us, a heart with God's love written upon it. Jeremiah tells us that God has made a new covenant with us. One that names us as God's people and Jesus' cross reminds of the profound investment that God has made in us. It is a covenant, an investment of unconditional love.
As Pope Francis has reminded up over and over again, our God is a merciful God. And so, we seek through the mercy of God a clean heart and a steadfast spirit in these closing days of Lent so that we can take up the challenge of listening for God’s voice, gazing upon the cross and allowing Jesus to draw up to himself.
May the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in our hearts! Have a blessed Sunday everyone.
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Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...