By Sherry Brownrigg
“Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
We’ve come to the start of Holy Week.
Scripture is never more descriptive than it is when it tells the story of the events leading up to and during the Crucifixion and Resurrection. As I pray with the readings from today and this week, I find it easy to be transported back in time and imagine myself as one of the crowd cheering Jesus as he entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday or helping Veronica give Jesus the cloth to wipe the sweat and blood from His face. I’d like to think I would be among those who stayed with Jesus through the ordeal of the Crucifixion, openly willing to tell the world that I was a disciple.
But I know the truth.
As much as I love Jesus, I likely would have been among those who retreated to the dark corners, neither jeering as He passed by with His cross nor proclaiming my love. I know because I so often do that today in my life.
I could blame my circumstances. I’m married to a wonderful man; however, he is no longer Catholic and barely a believer. I could remember that many of the couples with whom we are friends are not religious. I could remind myself that I work in a secular institution in a secular world, where although there are protections for religious expression, the open belief in Christianity is not culturally accepted and sometimes even mocked. I could also point out that much of my extended family is not religious. And I could hide behind the fact that there may be serious consequences for expressing my faith in all these situations.
Consequences of Loving Jesus
Indeed, there may be serious consequences, but the consequences for not openly expressing my love for Christ are even more dire. My soul depends on it, and although I am not the Savior, I may be the only conduit to Christ that some of my family, friends, and colleagues will encounter.
Undoubtedly, I need to be better and work closely with God on this. However, he freely gives us the Grace to do what He asks us to do. He’s also shown me how to proclaim Him as I grow. For example, my husband accepts the fact that I always go to Mass on Sundays and as often as possible during the week. He sees me read Scripture and pray, and I try hard to treat him with tender love and pray for his soul every day. With friends and colleagues, I am not shy about saying I’m a Catholic and providing a different viewpoint when the Church is attacked. Most of all, I try to model my behavior on Christ to the extent that people will see Christ in me.
We may be in the shadows now, but Christ’s Love for us compels us to express our love for Him. This Holy Week is the perfect time to examine our fears and ask God to help us grow in that love.
Jesus, help me to fully enter into Holy Week and walk with you each day in your passion, death, and resurrection.
Call to Action
Ask God to show you how to proclaim Him more in your vocation in life and examine what holds you back from doing what He asks.
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