Pastor’s Weekly Message 4-10-22

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
In this year’s lectionary cycle we are reading the Passion according to Luke. Each evangelist has his own style and his own focus in the Gospel narratives. In Luke’s telling of the Passion story, Jesus’s love and compassion for His disciples features quite prominently. Jesus knows He is going to suffer and die, and yet His concern is trying and preparing His disciples for what is to come. He knows they are not ready, and are likely to desert Him when He needs them most.  Jesus knows that, for all his good intentions, Peter is not up to the task of standing up for Him. Jesus knows that Judas has been taken over by jealousy and malice and will betray Him, but Jesus does not chastise or shame him. When Jesus sees Peter after Peter’s denial, He looks directly at him, not to shame him, but so that Peter knows he is still loved, despite his failures.
The Passion of our Lord is a powerful, gut wrenching and somewhat gruesome story. The injustices perpetrated against Jesus are heartbreaking. But it is also a love story, perhaps the greatest love story of all time. In the Gethsemane, as He struggles to accept His Father’s will, Jesus empties himself of everything except for love. This love carries Him above the insults and the torment. Jesus pours this love over His faithless disciples, over the injured servant whose ear He heals, over the mourning women of Jerusalem, over the thief by His side on the cross, over His very executioners.
In offering up His life, Jesus expresses His profound love for humanity. This is not an abstract love for the idea of humankind, this is an intimate, personal love. Jesus loves us because of who Jesus is, not who we are. He loves us despite our failings and our failures. His love is the balm for our wounds, and the inspiration to keep trying to be the being that God created in His image and likeness.
I wish you and your loved one’s blessings of good health and great hope. As we enter this most sacred time please continue to pray for peace in our troubled world,

Fr. Paul.

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