Monday, March 25, 2013

Too Important to Forget

Women of Faith:

It is too important to forget special birthday’s or anniversaries; the birth of our children; our First Communion or Confirmation; our wedding day; a best friend; a special celebration in our community; or where we were when a new pope was announced.

For most of us these are important days because they change us in some way leaving marks in our memories and in our very beings. They are too important to forget.

I remember anticipating the Jesus that filled my soul at First Communion and the Holy Spirit that entered my life at confirmation. I remember eagerly studying to learn all I could about who Jesus and the Holy Spirit were and would be in my life. Do I now anticipate their presence each Sunday by just as eagerly attending mass each week. Or do I deny that I need their presence, and forget that receiving Spiritual food every Sunday is just as important as the meals I eat every day?

We will never forget our wedding day, all of the planning and the pomp and circumstance, but how often do we as spouses forget the vows we took that special day? Do I accept the sufferings and challenges in my marriage the way Christ accepted dying for us. Do I work through the problems, or just give up and say it is too difficult to accept and more importantly forgive, the faults of the spouse I professed to love, for better, for worse, AND ALL OF the days of my life? What did and do those vows really mean? Do I encourage others to remain faithful to their wedding vows  or do I give them the courage to escape their commitment because it’s become a societal norm?
I remember my children’s birthdays and I will never forget the feeling of holding them tightly and safely as newborns within my arms. Yet some deny even trying to conceive a child because they prefer sex as a  choice with no responsibility and for temporary pleasure. Others deny their “first responsibility” to be teachers of their children about God, expecting others to teach them in school and at religious education class. And as they grow older are we afraid to discipline them? Do we forget that as parents our responsibility doesn’t end when they become a certain age, but that we must continue to pray for them, encourage them, and forgive them, welcoming them back to Christ?

As he rode along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road;  and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives,  the whole multitude of his disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen. They proclaimed: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.”  Lk 19: 36-38
Yesterday at Palm Sunday we celebrated Christ’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem with waving palms, tambourines and trumpets, and yet, the same Jesus Christ who we celebrated will be tortured and hung upon a cross in just a few short days, because His miracles of healing were forgotten and His true love for us was denied.

And Peter, one of his followers, one of his best friends, will deny even knowing Christ three times before the same week is done.
“This man too was with him.” But he denied it saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” A short while later someone else saw him and said, “You too are one of them”; but Peter answered, “My friend, I am not.”
About an hour later, still another insisted, “Assuredly, this man too was with him, for he also is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “My friend, I do not know what you are talking about.” Just as he was saying this, the cock crowed, and the Lord turned and looked at Peter; and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly.”
Lk 22: 56-62

Would we forget our best friend the way Peter forgot Christ? Do we stand up for the truth of the teachings of the Church? Or do we try to hide the fact that we are Christians? And will we fail to ask for forgiveness when we realize what we have done to hurt our relationship with Christ, with another?
Or will we be like Peter and Christ, willing to ask and give forgiveness for our sin of denial. Peter asked for forgiveness and Christ gave him the keys to the kingdom, making Peter his first successor, the first Pope of His Church.

Gracious Father, grant mercy on us Your children who are so quick to deny Your son, Jesus, in our lives. Increase the faith of all who place their HOPE in You. Help me to forgive those who have denied Your presence in their lives by denying your commandments and who by those sins have in turn hurt me. Help me never to forget that Your sacrifice for me forgives “my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me.” Amen.
This Holy Week, may each of us remember to forgive others remembering that Christ died for us so that we may be forgiven.

May your faith in Christ never be denied, it is too important to forget,
In Faith,

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