St John's Q&A

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Now, it's personal

It's hard to believe that this September 11th will mark the 5 year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. For all of us, 9/11 was personal. One man in particular, Pat Tillman, took 9/11 very personally. He was a professional football player who was about to sign a multi-million dollar contract. He gave all of that up to join the Army. For him, 9/11 was personal, and he responded by, ultimately, giving his life for the cause...the cause of freedom.

For us in Holy Week, now it's personal. Our Savior, the Son of God, was treated like a criminal by the Roman soldiers and Jewish leaders. Jesus suffered tremendously for me and for you. He shed a lot of blood for all of us... Now, it's personal. How will we respond?

It wasn't until I was in college that I took the events of Holy Week personally. It wasn't until then that I realized that Jesus endured all of this for me. He endured the whipping of the soldiers, being mocked and crowned with thorns, carrying a heavy cross, and hanging on that cross with nails in his hands and feet until he suffocated...for me. "This is my body", Greg, "given up for you"... Now it's personal. How will we respond?

It was actually when I started going to daily Mass in college that I realized that at every Mass, I am a witness to Calvary. The sacrifice on the altar is the same as the sacrifice on Calvary; Jesus tells us this in John 6:51. Christ's flesh and blood on the cross are re-presented on the altar. Whenever we go to Mass, we respond by saying 'Thank you, Jesus'.

Whenever we go to Confession, we respond. The main reason Jesus shed his blood was "so that sins may be forgiven". We have opportunities this week (via Penance services, e.g.) to respond by going to Confession.

We have opportunities this week to respond by participating in the Triduum services on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday which remember in a special way all that Jesus went through for us... Now, it's personal. How will we respond?


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