Last weekend here at St. Agnes Cathedral we celebrated the Rite of Election with our Bishop as the parishes on the western side of our Diocese came together presenting those who are coming into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil either through Baptism or a Profession of Faith.
As we continue to walk this Lent with Jesus on the road to Calvary, have you ever asked the question why Jesus chose to die on the cross? In trying to understand the answer to this important question, we need to reject the idea of God the Father as a harsh and cruel judge who demanded that his Son Jesus should suffer and die to make up for the sins of the human race. It is love, not an abstract idea of justice, which provides the key to our understanding. From John’s Gospel, Chapter 3 comes the answer. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge but to be its Savior.”
Jesus chose to suffer, because suffering is an inevitable part of our human existence. No person is free from suffering within their life. Jesus suffered also, because what he was, what he taught, and what he did, provoked resistance and hostility from sinful men. It was sinful men who refused to accept Jesus and his teachings. It was men who nailed Jesus to the cross.
Jesus could have avoided the cross. He did not have to go to Jerusalem, but He chose to go freely. He remained true to his Father, true to the message of LOVE he had come to bring. In other words, Jesus remained obedient to his Father’s will, and this obedience brought him to the cross. That is the example Jesus gives each of us, obedience to God’s will. When we chose to not follow that example, we sin. As we continue in the Lenten Season, look long and hard at your actions and ask the question, “Am I following Jesus by being obedient to the Father’s will?”
Today is the fourth Sunday of Lent. It is known as Laetare Sunday and as the vestments are rose in color as they signify a Sunday of joy. Lent is half over, and Easter is drawing near. This Sunday is important also because it is the day of the second scrutiny in preparation for the baptism of adults at the Easter Vigil.