Jesus’ Passion

I was sitting at Mass this past weekend, on Passion Saturday/vigil for Palm Sunday, and since both children were soundly asleep, I was able to actually listen to the chaplain’s homily – for, perhaps the first time in a long time.  The chaplain spoke about how we are all fans and fanatics about something in our lives – many people are sports fanatics.  He then said, “perhaps we consider sports our passion…”

He then challenged my thinking, when he queried, “but what if having passion meant being willing to die for whatever it is we are passionate about?”

With that question, he immediately brought the homily to Jesus’ Passion. Jesus’ Passion for us.  For you, for me, for every single person in the world.  Jesus had a passion for all of us.  He loved us, and He still loves us.  He loved us so much, He was willing to be beaten, mocked, humiliated, and murdered for our sake.  For our immortal souls.

Jesus loves us so much, He wants to spend eternity with us.  Therefore, he was willing to go to the depths of Hell (literally) and back, to ensure we have the opportunity to spend eternity with Him.

Which begs the question that I have been pondering this Holy Week – am I the kind of person with whom Jesus would want to spend eternity?

The short answer is, “Yes!  Of course!  He wouldn’t have died for me, and risen for me, if He wouldn’t!”  But, the long answer leads to more introspection. Am I doing what I can do to ensure I deserve my seat in Heaven?  Am I doing what I can do to join God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and all the angels and saints in Heaven?  Am I living a worthy Christian life?

When my husband was stationed in Hawaii, I had the opportunity to visit Pearl Harbor.  There was a cinderblock memorial there, with the following inscription:

Dear Lord,

Lest I continue my complacent way, help me to remember

Somewhere out there a man died for me today,

As long as there be war, I then must ask and answer,

Am I worth dying for?

The memorial attributes this poem to one Eleanor Roosevelt kept in her wallet during WWII.

The words of this poem are striking.

When considering Jesus’ Passion, His death, and His Resurrection, this poem makes me reflect on His Sacrifice for me. Am I living a life worthy of His ultimate sacrifice?  If not, what are ways in which I can change to better deserve His grace, mercy, love, and the company of His presence after death?

Am I living a life worthy of Jesus’ death and Resurrection?

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