This week I offer us a different sort of column, a reflection to take to personal prayer. It is from Rev. Robert Hater, PhD Professor Emeritus: University of Dayton and Professor of Pastoral and Systematic Theology. Blessings on your Holy Week!
As Jesus traveled to Jerusalem for the last time, his time to fulfill the Father’s plan for the salvation of humankind was drawing near. Jesus’ actions in washing his disciples’ feet, giving us his Body and Blood at the Last Supper, and accepting his agony and subsequent death on the Cross give us hope in difficult times and model faithful endurance when darkness envelops us. In times of suffering, failure, family breakups, loss of friends, or a loved one’s death, Jesus’ death gives us hope for a new tomorrow.
Uniting our suffering with his helps us to see that to know ourselves we must turn our lives over to the Father. With hope, we trust that he will sustain us, thus preparing us for our eternal resurrection. Such enduring hope is the bottom line, if we are to recognize our true identity. Uniting our suffering with Jesus’ suffering during Holy Week, we ask:
- Why must we turn ourselves over to the Father, as Jesus did, to truly know ourselves?
- What do you think Pope Benedict means when he makes the following statement: “The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of new life” (Pope Benedict XVI, On Christian Hope [Spe Salvi] [Washington, DC: USCCB, 2007], no. 2).
- How does uniting with Jesus’ suffering and death help us maintain enduring hope during trials and tribulations?