Jesus' example of mercy over suffering is helpful with today's hardships
by Sister Jane Riha
Holy Week begins on Sunday with the journey into Jerusalem that will ultimately culminate on Calvary. The experience of Holy Week 2020 will be very different for those of us accustomed to being in church for many days during Holy Week. I invite you to participate in Holy Week through the particular circumstances of your life and experience the Scriptures as they are reflected in your life.
The Gospel of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ is the most powerful of the readings for this Sunday. Here we encounter stories in the lives of diverse personalities within the greater story of Jesus' passion. You may identify with one of the persons in the Gospel as you journey with Jesus. Take some time to reflect on your personal passion during this difficult coronavirus pandemic. The God of loving kindness and compassion is walking with us. Within our personal, family and work situation, God desires to bless us with grace and strength.
The mental, emotional, and physical suffering of Jesus defies our full comprehension. Perhaps at times, we do not fully comprehend the mental, emotional and physical suffering of our loved ones, our neighbors, our public servants and leaders. Recall Jesus’ approach to people during His suffering, he was focused and centered on living his vocation and call. He was patient, forthright and forgiving.
The Passion of our Lord is a story of love -- God’s deep love for each person, created in God’s image -- a love so deep that God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to reveal that love. Finally, I include a quote from author Margaret Renkl from her book, Late Migrations: “the shadow side of love is always loss, and grief is only love’s own twin.” Let us pray for one another!