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A Way To Experience Holy Week

Pedro de Orrente, Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem

Pedro de Orrente, Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem

On the first Palm Sunday, the Humble Christ rode into Jerusalem on the back of a lowly donkey.  He was investing Himself in each one of us, strangers, not yet born.  What will our response be to Him in gratitude during this coming Holy Week?  I used these ideas for the first time about eight years ago. 

On Good Friday, the soldiers inflicted the most painful of all sufferings on the helpless Lord, death by crucifixion.  He suffered this for each one of us here this Passion Sunday.  First, they nailed His Hands to the wooden cross.  This pain exploded in His brain.  We cry “ouch” at a simple vaccination.

This Holy Week, we can consciously think of using our hands to help others in our daily work, whether it is washing dishes, doing the laundry, or the mundane moments of our everyday work of employment.  We should make use of our hands this week to honor the crucified Hands of Christ.  As we begin the day, look heavenward, put our hands together in prayer and cry out in the secrecy of our hearts. . . “I will do all my work today in the best possible way.”

One large nail transfixed the feet of Jesus.  If we have the chance to attend the services of Holy Week, hopefully we will go on our feet swiftly, with enthusiasm, to give witness to our belief in Our Christ.

On our crucifixes in our homes and churches, we rarely see the bruised mouth of Our Savior, His parched lips and bloody gums, all from the blows of the soldiers.  Although hardly able to speak, what comforting words He spoke. . . “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. . . Mother, this is your son.  John, this is your mother”. . . Use gracious words this week as we speak to others, offer many compliments.  Tell our family often, “I love you.”  Do this in memory of Christ’s words on the cross.”

Plan to make this Holy Week the best one we ever lived through.  What joy and peace we will experience at this Easter!  This is my 96th Holy Week.  Be assured that I will make it the best of my life.  A Blessed Easter to your families.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

March 28, 2015 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , | 9 Comments

What Would Jesus Do If He Were In My Place

100 years before it became fashionable to wear a WWJD bracelet, Charles Sheldon was asking the question!

100 years before it became fashionable to wear a WWJD bracelet, Charles Sheldon was asking the question!

Back in 1996, I bought a paperback novel with an astounding history.  First published in 1896,  “In His Steps” has sold over 30,000,000 copies.  Imagine a book still on the shelves after 119 years!  I have read and re-read this story many times over the years, always with a refreshing delight.

Charles Sheldon, the author, begins his novel with the minister of a church offering a challenge to his well-to-do congregation on a Sunday morning.  Dr. Maxwell, the clergyman, asks them to put this question before themselves as they make decisions each day, “What would Jesus do if he were in my place?”

“Do this for a year”, he urges them.  “In His Steps” goes on to tell of four people in the congregation and their experiences in living out this question.  Many others took this challenge to heart, but the novel tells only of the four mentioned: a newspaper man, a superintendent in a railroad yard, a woman concert singer, and a successful merchant.  Although the background of the story lies in the 1890’s, I always found “In His Steps” an exciting and uplifting story, able to send my wishes, “to walk in His footsteps”, soaring.

How do you explain the long standing popularity of this book?  The story grabs the imagination of the readers and offers them a door to a richer and more thrilling walk in life.  Within our hearts, we have a thirst, a desperate hunger for the ideals of Christ, a yearning to be a person of peace and holiness like Him.  The simple question, “What would Jesus do”, provides a clear way to “walk in His steps.”

From hearing the Gospel stories so often, we know how Jesus dealt with many difficult situations.  In everyday living, we meet these same experiences and can face them with the attitudes Christ had.  In following this program, we need feel no tension, nervousness or make it a complicated process.  We just say with a loving heart, “what would Jesus do if he were in my place”, and then act accordingly.

How quickly we would cleanse our inner spirit of all kinds of weaknesses, our selfishness, unjust anger, short temper, our unwillingness to give time to prayer, unhealthy fears about the past or the future, and all our unloving ways of treating others.  From my own experience, I can tell the reader that I never saw such a quick change in my life for the better than when I carried out this practice, “What would Jesus do?”

Fr. George Mc Kenna

March 21, 2015 Posted by | Bulletins | , , | 5 Comments