16 Mar
Is. 50:4-7
Ps. 21:8-9,17-18,19-20,23-24
Phil. 2:6-11
Mt. 26:14-27,66
(Ps Wk II)
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We admire great and courageous souls such as Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and Mother Teresa. They suffered; they struggled; they were insulted; some were even killed. Why do they do it? What is the source of their strength? They are like the Suffering Servant of Isaiah. They have opened themselves to God's inner voice, and it is this burning inner voice of God that inspires them and drives them forward. They do not enjoy suffering for suffering alone has no value. They are suffering because they are proclaiming God's message to humanity, and that is a source of joy and meaning. The beautiful hymn from Philippians describes the love of Jesus for all humanity. Because of this love, Jesus emptied himself of all power, privilege, honor, safety, and comfort. He willingly took on human limitations and placed himself under the power of others. This was not a weakness, but a source of power and exaltation, and it is because of this that he is Lord of all. We cling fearfully to all of the things that Jesus gave up and still we are weak and unhappy. Jesus invites us to trust God and let go of everything for the sake of love and service. Only then will we be truly empowered and lifted up.

The passion story that we know so well contains so many tragic human elements: fear, anger, betrayal, cowardice, and resistance to the challenge of God's light. But Jesus' response is hope, courage, and great love.

Lord, give me inspiration and courage.

Eternal Father, I offer You everything I do this day; my thoughts, words, joys and sufferings. Grant that, vivified by the Holy Spirit and united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, my life this day may be of service to You and to others. I also pray that all those preparing for marriage discover in Sacrament the source of Christ's grace for living a fithful and fruitful love. Amen.

That the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation between persons and people may be understood and that the Church through her testimony, may spread Christ's love, the source of new humanity.

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