Today’s Thoughts: I know many of you probably look at today as just Friday. And you are right in doing so along with most of the rest of the world but in the Passionist world today, the Friday before Ash Wednesday is the Feast of the Solemn Commemoration of the Passion. It is one of the most important and special feast days that we have in the Congregation of the Passion. It is a day when we can truly celebrate the Passion of Jesus Christ which is the lens through which we view and live our lives as Passionists.
In today's gospel, Jesus rather than debating the issue of indecency, he addresses the hardness of people’s hearts. He makes it clear that unless we invite God into our relationships, more specifically our marriages, then we enter relationships, we marry for all the wrong reasons. God offers his love and his Spirit to us so profoundly that we often find it hard to comprehend. Should our love in any personal relationship call for anything less? The capacity to do so, results from a call to a close relationship with Jesus in the Spirit.
By contrast, many of today’s marriages in our imperfect world end in divorce. We all witness this daily. It is hard to find anyone who has not been touched by the struggles and sadness of divorce. As much as we make an honest effort to console family and friends caught in the struggle of broken relationships often it is hard to find the right words, or any words at all. Divorce causes God deep sorrow. In our Church, the issue of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics is a painful pastoral problem which Pope Francis has tried to address but change is slow and not without its own struggles.
St. Paul felt the preservation of peace was a greater value than the preservation of an unpeaceful marriage. How many of us, know of someone, who spent more than half of their adult life working dutifully on their marriage only to watch it fall apart. As challenging and difficult as divorce and broken relationships can be, it is also hopeful when encounter people who move on to a place of diminished pain and hope for new life.
A good marriage, a good relationship takes a lot of faith. Faith is always the key. As Passionists we celebrate this day with the faith that God truly does love the world and Jesus’ journey to Calvary is the ultimate sign of that love. Humankind’s fall set in motion God’s greatest act of love for us and on this Friday before Ash Wednesday that is what we remember and celebrate.
As Passionists, our lives are dedicated the remembering the Passion of Jesus Christ which reveals the power of God’s love for the world and through our special vow we bind ourselves to the memory of the Passion of Christ. By our words, our ministries, our living of life and by our faith we strive to bring this gift, this grace of God’s love to every person we meet. Or perhaps stick with the story we seek to bring the struggle to Jesus because he does all things well!
My prayer for you on this special Passionist feast is that as you journey through this day you will not forget that God loves you that you will always be faithful and that the Passion of Jesus Christ will always in your heart!
Have a blessed Friday everyone!
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...