Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday of Holy Week - 2012

The Return of the Prodigal Son
Batoni (1773)

With the beginning of Holy Week our Church puts before us words that focus attention on the "Suffering Servant."  While intended to be a presentation of the roles of Israel's good leaders and Israel as well, these words speak so much to us about Jesus.  He is the model of the Suffering Servant in so many ways.  Today and during the next several days we will have the opportunity to read more about the Suffering Servant theme as it occurred in the life of Jesus.  It is taken from the Book of Consolation as the second part of the Book of Isaiah is titled.

What we might reflect on today and throughout Holy Week is that as followers of Jesus Christ, as Temples of the Holy Spirit, each of us is called by our Baptism and our Confirmation to be more than onlookers.  We are called to consider how we fulfill Jesus' mission in and through our lives today.  Let this Holy Week be for us more than a reminder of our challenge to be leaders in our communities, modelling ourselves on Jesus, even when this means difficult commitment, standing tall against those who would ridicule believers or our Church, speaking out for the unborn, protecting the marginalized in our society, and never failing to show and share the same compassion that marked the life of Jesus.

This is particularly challenging to Catholics today as our Church leaders speak out against our state and federal government and legislative activities being mandated and in some cases put before the people for votes.  Wherever a Catholic stands on these issues, life as a Catholic in this 21st century is a challenge that makes undecided positions --"I'm not sure." or "I don't know where I stand."-- just impossible.   It is a time in our history when the Suffering Servant theme takes on particular significance and genuine difficulty for all Catholics regardless of one's stance on the hot button issues in our society today.