Today, I would like to invite you to think about baptism. Particularly, if you have been baptized, think about when it happened, where it happened and who was there? Were you a child or older? If you can visit the place where you were baptized, make a trip to that place and spend some time in prayer and reflection about what happened there in your life.
I was an infant, so the memory of mine is in what stories I have been told by my parents. To this day, I hold very dear to me my God parents. How about you? Tonight, in Catholic churches around the world, many will be baptized into the faith. What an amazing thing to think about and all the conversations and preparations it has taken to get to this point in one’s faith. Baptism!
Tonight or tomorrow, whenever you find yourself going to Easter celebrations, think about this time in your faith as a baptism. The death of Christ is not permanent. We know there is new life to come with the Resurrection of Christ.
So, tonight, prepare for what is to be new in your life beginning with celebrating Easter. As you gather with family or friends, renew your life with them and acknowledge them with love and care. Then extend that love and care to the rest of the world.
Wayne E. Romo
“Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; Through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear.” Isaiah 53:11
Now it is time to come to the cross. Perhaps you have experienced the death of a loved one and can remember the day they died. As I think about today being the day that we commemorate Christ’s death on the cross, I can’t help but be reminded that life is precious. Today, I am thinking about all the people in my life who have died, especially the ones who were very close to me. I really miss them as I remember them and will keep them close to my thoughts today.
As for my faith journey, I am thinking about the crosses I am bearing. My Lenten journey has been to recognize these crosses and find a way to lessen them. Most of the time, they get in the way of my attending to the good things in my life, especially the relationships I am in that need my love and care. Today, in preparation for the Easter celebration, offer the burdens of your life to God through Christ’s death and truly find a way to be freed from them.
Tonight, take some time to venerate your crosses and sacrifice them to the Lord.
Then we shall see the light in fullness!
Wayne E. Romo
“If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” John 13: 14-15
I don’t know about you, but today’s Gospel is a bit uncomfortable for me when I hear that being a true disciple means washing someone’s feet. All I can think of is my Mom and wife yelling at me for putting my dirty feet on the couch. Washing feet is something I don’t necessarily want to be doing except for my own.
This is what makes this Gospel message such a special one. We are shown a model for living life if we want to truly follow Christ and it is given at a time when the human life of Christ is soon to come to an end. Think about it. If I am at a stage of life that is soon to bring my life to an end, I am inclined to want to do things that are deeply meaningful.
In this case with Jesus, he washes the feet of his disciples. What’s interesting in the Gospel of John, the foot washing exchange happens before all else that leads to Jesus’ death. It’s that important!
So, what is your posture to the people of God and to what extent are you truly willing to wash another’s feet? Guess what! I’m not talking about doing this literally, unless you are a volunteer for services tonight at your church. What I am being reminded of tonight is now that Lent soon will end, am I prepared to live like Christ has asked? It was not a choice he gave to the apostles. It was a model for us to follow. Tomorrow is Good Friday and it’s time to start washing some feet.
By Wayne E Romo
“Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Mt 26:25
Admitting my sins and acknowledging my sinfulness is one of the hardest things for me to do. In today’s Gospel, Jesus calls Judas out and I can’t help but think about the times that I have been “called out” to own up to my sinfulness. In this passage, what follows is the “last supper” experience we look forward to each time we gather for the Eucharistic liturgy.
So what can I do today that continues to make this a holy week as we look to celebrate the resurrection?
I don’t always say the nicest things to people and my anger has gotten the best of me on occasion this week. I can’t just jump into the Easter celebration without acknowledging my sin and reconciling those things of my life that are not good! It will put a damper on truly celebrating the joy and hope we long for in celebrating the resurrection.
So what are you waiting for? Need to be called out? I would not wait for that. Go and be reconciled if you want to really enjoy God’s goodness this coming weekend.
By Wayne E. Romo
“I will lay down my life for you.” John 13:37
And so the journey to the cross takes on a different twist…..
Peter makes this bold statement to Jesus only to be called out by him. You know how the story goes….
“Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.” Jn 13:38
During this time of Holy Week, ask yourself, for whom and what are you willing to die? I immediately think about my family. That’s an easy one. How about injustice? Inequality? Your enemies? The stranger and the poor? Unfair treatment of others? The environment? Sinners?
To answer the question in the way that Jesus did requires me to ask not what I am willing to do for myself but what am I willing to do for someone else’s sake. You mean this journey of faith is not all about me! So ask yourself, what are the “others” in my life that need my conviction of beliefs and values? For whom and what are you willing to die?
…and so the journey to the cross continues….
By Wayne E. Romo
“So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” John 12:7-8
Wow! We are in the 6th week of Lent! Can you believe it? If today you are concerned with the sacrifices you had hoped to keep for Lent, the Gospel seems to imply it is time to look at the bigger picture. Usually about this time I check myself in terms of how faithful I have been to my Lenten promises. Then, for the ones I think I have not maintained, I can spend this week making up for lost time. Unfortunately, after reading today’s Gospel, I think I am off the mark. After all, this is Holy Week! I am reminded today, that my focus now needs to shift from the small ways in which I make my own sacrifices and ask instead, how have my sacrifices lead me to fully appreciating Christ dying for my sins.
So, what are you doing to make this week a holy journey? If you are sweating the small stuff, it’s time to start thinking bigger, like laying down one’s life for others. Wow! We are in the 6th week of Lent!
by Wayne Romo