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Friday, March 11, 2005

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Wisdom 2:1, 12-22
Psalm 34
John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

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the passion behind the passion

"With revilement and torture let us put Him to the test that we may have proof of His gentleness and try His patience. Let us condemn Him to a shameful death." —Wisdom 2:19-20

Two weeks from today will be Good Friday. We will venerate the cross and kiss the wounds of Jesus. We will read again about His sufferings. Will this annual repetition make us more callous to the reality of Calvary or will our hardened hearts be broken? Will we fall down at Jesus' feet and let Him love us or will it be just another "Good" Friday?

Jesus loves us "passionately." He became a man and suffered His passion and death as an expression of His love for us. His passion lasted not just three hours but thirty-three years. He was hunted down like a wild animal with hit men "looking for a chance to kill Him" (Jn 7:1). Some people hung on Jesus' every word while others were gathering evidence with which they would falsely accuse Him. On the first day of His public ministry, the neighbors from His hometown tried to throw Him off a cliff (Lk 4:29-30). His enemies made several attempts to arrest or stone Him (Jn 7:30; 8:59; 10:31).

This is the life Jesus led for months and even years. He didn't have to, but chose to out of love for you and me. Choose to love Jesus passionately in return.

Prayer:  Jesus, You love me more than I love myself. I give my life to You.

Promise:  "Let us see whether His words be true; let us find out what will happen to Him. For if the Just One be the Son of God, He will defend Him, and deliver Him from the hand of His foes." —Wis 2:17-18

Praise:  Focusing on the crucified Christ helps Marcie come out of herself and bring God's mercy to others.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Jesus the Redeemer on audio AV 50-3 or video V-50.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, August 18 8, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 23, 2004