by Sister Mary Kabat
This weekend marks Palm Sunday. We begin the holiest week of the Church year with the Commemoration of the Lord Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. We will hear and perhaps participate in the Passion from the Gospel of Matthew. Day by day we will have the opportunity to walk along with Jesus, his Apostles, his Mother, his friends, bystanders and his enemies through the Paschal Mystery of the Last Supper, the Way of the Cross, the Crucifixion, the Death, the Burial and the Resurrection.
One way to pray the Gospel stories this Holy Week is to choose a character and experience the event through their eyes, their ears, their emotions. Enter the scene as fully as you can so the Gospel story no longer remains a written word but becomes a living word that can transform your heart, your mind, your life.
May this week be a holy one for you!
Yes, yes, yes .... all good ways to empathize - get inside the skin and FEEL WITH - the characters.
This year I feel with the male apostles in one 'new' kind of way, through a 'new' realization of how and why they had very real reasons to fear remaining in JESUS' presence as he was brutally assaulted and made to suffer a slow, excruciating death. It is my 'new' understanding that women were not scourged or crucified, only men. So whereas women who could 'stay with' and 'remain with' JESUS throughout his agony and death, and could also feel with him in their deep, deep sorrow and grief of suffering 'with' him - they could not know the type of real 'fear' and 'angst' that JESUS' men-followers would have known, and why they removed themselves from his presence, or denied even knowing him.
This year, I am able to 'feel with' the fear of the men in ways I had not known before.
Thank you, Sister Mary, for the reflective questions.