Bottom line: God's justice has a name - the Divine Mercy.
We have just listened to St. Mark's account of the Passion. As I was reflecting on it - especially on the part played by St. Peter - an anecdote from the Civil War came to my mind. Although it is humorous, it has a serious point.
The anecdote tells about a soldier brought before General Robert E. Lee. Accused of misconduct, the soldier was trembling. The general said to him, "Do not be afraid, son. Here you will receive justice." The soldier looked at the general and said, "Sir, that is what I am afraid of."
Like that soldier, Peter would have reason to tremble. He had boasted about his bravery, how he would always stand by Jesus. Yet when Jesus needed him most, he nodded off. Perhaps one could forgive him for falling asleep, but later - when he was wide awake - he denied Jesus. "I do not know the man." Some rock!
In strict justice, Peter should have been punished - at the very least, removed as head of the Church. In Christ's passion, however, a deeper justice is at work. That is what we will discover this Holy Week. God's justice has a name - it is called the Divine Mercy. I invite you to return on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. These are the great days of grace - of Divine Mercy.
Like Peter, you and I have made confident declarations and then fell down on the job. We made promises, buy did not deliver. Maybe we even acted like we did not know Jesus. Because of all this we feel a certain fear: a fear of God, a fear of his justice. We might even feel like giving up. Or just to wallow in self-pity.
Here is the challenge of Holy Week: to stop looking at ourselves - and start looking at Jesus. This week we fix our attention on Christ crucified. There we see a more profound justice at work. It has a name: the Divine Mercy.
Intercessions for Palm Sunday (from Priests for Life)
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Bulletin (Holy Week - Divine Mercy, Pattern of Second Collections, Pro-Life Vigils, Fr. Frank Pavone's Visit)
Cardinal Di Nardo's response to Notre Dame's choice of President Obama as its commencement speaker & honorary doctorate in law recipient; Cardinal George "extreme embarrassment"
Also Archbishop Timothy Dolan (Notre Dame "made a big mistake"), Archbishop Nienstedt, Bishop Olmstead, Bishop Aymond and Father John J. Raphael, S.S.J (African-American priest and graduate of Notre Dame); video of debate between Phil Donahue and Father Jonathan Morris
the University of Notre Dame, which claims to be America's premier Catholic institution of higher learning, made an egregious error in inviting President Barack Obama to address its May commencement and accept an honorary doctorate of laws degree. Since Inauguration Day, Obama has made several judgment calls that render Notre Dame's invitation little short of incomprehensible. The president has put the taxpayers of the United States back into the business of paying for abortions abroad. He has expanded federal funding for embryo-destructive stem-cell research and defended that position in a speech that was a parody of intellectually serious moral reasoning. The Obama administration threatens to reverse federal regulations that protect the conscience rights of Catholic and other pro-life health-care professionals. And the administration has not lifted a finger to keep its congressional and teachers' union allies from snatching tuition vouchers out of the hands of poor inner-city children who want to attend Catholic schools in the nation's capital.
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