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Making it the Best Week Ever
Dear Fellow Digital Pilgrim, pax Christi:
I have to admit that Holy Week can be a tough time for me. My heart is reluctant to meditate upon the horrible effects of sin, my own sins included, and the agony that Jesus suffered because of our sins. And yet, at the end of the Holy Triduum, without fail my spirit is rejuvenated by the smallest effort to live with greater recollection, fervor, and a spirit of self-denial. Accompanying the Lord during his suffering and crucifixion enables me to make more sense of my own small crosses. And I find that I am able to share more fully in the joy of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. So even though it starts out as the worst week ever, it ends up being the best week ever!
In his recent Lenten message, Pope Francis reminds us that God reaches out to us and draws near to us:
It is “the beauty of the saving love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead” (Evangelii Gaudium, 36), that first proclamation which “we must hear again and again in different ways, the one which we must announce one way or another throughout the process of catechesis, at every level and moment” (ibid., 164). Mercy “expresses God’s way of reaching out to the sinner, offering him a new chance to look at himself, convert, and believe” (Misericordiae Vultus, 21), thus restoring his relationship with him. In Jesus crucified, God shows his desire to draw near to sinners, however far they may have strayed from him. In this way he hopes to soften the hardened heart of his Bride.
Pope Francis then encourages us, having received God’s mercy, to touch with mercy those who suffer and bear the marks of Jesus crucified:
For us, then, the season of Lent in this Jubilee Year is a favourable time to overcome our existential alienation by listening to God’s word and by practicing the works of mercy. In the corporal works of mercy we touch the flesh of Christ in our brothers and sisters who need to be fed, clothed, sheltered, visited; in the spiritual works of mercy – counsel, instruction, forgiveness, admonishment and prayer – we touch more directly our own sinfulness. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy must never be separated. By touching the flesh of the crucified Jesus in the suffering, sinners can receive the gift of realizing that they too are poor and in need.
Knowing we all have varying availability during Holy Week, here are suggestions for making the most of this time of incredible grace. Let’s respond to God’s call to engage in the mission of evangelization as best we can. We will then experience the joy of being part of something greater than ourselves.
- PRAY for the missionary efforts and activities during this Holy Week.
- PARTICIPATE fully in the liturgy
- PROMOTE God’s mercy by being a missionary of mercy:
- Exercise more intentionally the corporal and spiritual acts of mercy.
- Participate in a parish mission or find more opportunities at www.missionyouthmissions.com
- Share a favorite Retreat Guide video, Spiritual Smoothie, or Ask a Priest post.
In a December 1, 2015, webinar that Fr. John Bartunek, LC, gave to our supporters, he explained our mission as “digital missionaries”:
It is a concept that came from Pope Benedict. He said that the digital world that has been emerging is a new continent. He called it the digital continent . . . a new space where people are spending more and more time interacting and they are feeding their souls and their mind and we have to be there. We have to evangelize this continent. Sharing a Retreat Guide, Ask a Priest post, or Spiritual Smoothie with others to help them in their pilgrimage, their pilgrimage towards holiness, towards heaven, as they walk through their life with the Lord. They are fellow digital missionaries, because they are engaged with us in evangelizing this digital continent. We have a lot of ideas, but we can’t make any of them work if we don’t have support, prayer support, volunteer support, or monetary support. So, with every new donor, we think of them as part of our team of digital missionaries.
Thanks for being a digital missionary in this year of mercy! Keep sending us your feedback and count on our prayers. Wishing you a mercy-filled and best week ever!
God bless you!
P.S. Wishing you a very blessed feast of St. Joseph this Saturday. Let us turn to him for guidance and protection to follow the Lord faithfully during this upcoming week.