“…It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, through Christ our Lord. For, though innocent, he suffered willingly for sinners and accepted unjust condemnation to save the guilty. His Death has washed away our sins, and his Resurrection has purchased our justification…”
These last few weeks have been a true examination of my faith. In class on Saturday I reviewed with my catechism class that faith is all or nothing. As a Catholic, to have true faith is to embrace all of the tradition and teachings of Jesus Christ. To accept only some parts does not satisfy the definition of true faith. Do I have faith?
This month of March has been a trying one. I have found myself on several occasions feeling like I was being tested. My faith was being challenged enough times to last me the rest of the year. When my faith is being challenged, I pray. I don’t ask for a great outcome, I ask for guidance. My prayer is more of a conversation with God, I explain to Him the situation as I understand it and I pose questions. Prayer helps me keep my faith. It may not be answered in the time frame that we would like but that’s why we pray for patience. Sometimes all I need is to have that conversation out loud to know what is in my heart and other times it wracks my brain. What do they say about March …March madness…sounds about right.
What has helped me most this month is being with Jesus on his last few days on this earth. For the last month I have been rehearsing scenes for the Stations of the Cross reenactment that my parish is putting on. I remember walking into Youth Group late, earlier this month and finding out our Priest had recruited us unknowingly to reenact His Journey from meeting with Pilate to his burial. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to participate, but how do you say no to a priest?
A few years ago I had a situation in my life weigh down on me so hard that I gave it to God. In exchange for this burden being lifted off my shoulders I agreed to do His will. It is that promise to Him that makes it difficult for me to say no to anything asked of me by the Church. So I decided I would participate but I would work on helping in the background. God had other plans.
As much as I tried to fight it I became co-director and the English speaking narrator. For the last three weeks I have been walking beside Jesus Christ, in my mind, and reliving ever single step of the way, two times per week. If you are familiar with the Stations of the Cross then you’ll agree that its no easy feat. This week, during rehearsal, the 10th station, really got to me. The 10th station is where Jesus is stripped of his garments, revealing the marks of a people that did not believe.
“…With every wound, every spasm of pain, every wrenched muscle, every trickle of blood with all the exhaustion in its arms, all the bruises and lacerations on its back and shoulders, this stripped body is carrying out the will of both Father and Son. It carries out the Father’s will when it is stripped naked and subjected to torture, when it takes unto itself the immeasurable pain of humanity profaned…”
This lent season has reminded me that Jesus Christ gave his life for us so that we may be saved. His sacrifice makes all of my problems seem insignificant. This season is a mournful one but it is also a time of self-reflection. Am I living a Christian life? Have I been doing anything that goes against His teachings? We do this for the forty days and forty nights. On Easter Sunday we celebrate because Jesus has resurrected and because of his sacrifice, we are saved.
I leave you with one of today’s readings:
PS. Say a prayer for me and the rest of the St. George Parish who will be acting out the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday! Keep us in your prayers and send us warm thoughts as part of the path is outside.