Good Friday — the day we commemorate the execution of Jesus. This year our commemoration reminds me of a quote from Meister Eckert about Christmas. In essence, Eckert asked what good it is for us that Jesus was born 2,000 years ago if he is not also born in us each day — for the Son of God always needs to be born.
"The Stations reassure me. If Jesus himself fell not once, not twice, but three times under his great and terrible burden, I don't think we should beat ourselves up too much when we crumble at times under ours."
When Sr. Madeleine Miller tried to substitute teach two years ago at Norfolk Public Schools, she was told they'd love to have her — but she couldn't wear her habit.
"Really?" the Missionary Benedictine sister replied. "Tell me more."
A 1919 state law backed by the Ku Klux Klan and other anti-Catholic groups barred teachers from "religious garb" in public schools. It had never been challenged.
But it didn't sit right with Miller, whose religious community in Norfolk encouraged her to try to change the law.
Last year, Pope Francis issued a decree revising the rules for the traditional foot-washing ritual on Holy Thursday, saying the rite should no longer be limited to men and boys but also include women and girls. A rash of headlines was received with mixed reactions by the Catholic community across the globe. While some individual priests in Kenya long ago adapted the ritual of foot washing to women, others adamantly cling to tradition.
After decades doing peace work, seeking truth and reconciliation for Canada's indigenous people, and in short-term healing work with communities in Africa, Service Sr. Mary Ellen Francoeur says her goal is to love in a selfless way.
An image has haunted me since I first read it in an article about the atrocities taking place in South Sudan. It is very disturbing, and I'd rather move past it quickly, acknowledging this happens but not dwelling on it. However, as I read it, the image of Jesus on the cross appeared in my mind's eye.
Fr. Joseph Goldbrunner taught me a lesson for life that has helped me negotiate some difficult times; his understanding of "betrayal," as exemplified in the Scriptures for Holy Week, has meant much to me.
"Jesus comforting the women in response to their concern for him is a fitting meditation for a cluster of my experiences in India that illustrate how church people continue to live this moment in the passion of Jesus — a moment of compassion."
— Marianist Sr. Laura M. Leming, from Jesus comforts the women, published on Global Sisters Report
Horizons - For over a thousand years, millions of pilgrims have walked across Spain to the Catedral de Santiago (Cathedral of St. James). During Holy Week, I will become one of those pilgrims.
Reflections from Pope Francis' 2017 World Day of Peace message, "Nonviolence: a Style of Politics of Peace," continue to unfold as the year rolls out new opportunities and challenges. These different encounters invite each person to actively seek to engage in peacemaking through nonviolence at the grassroots.