One Hour with Me?

Dear Faithful and Friends, 

The distinctive tone of the  Passion and the joyful strains of  the Exsultet, the palms held in  procession and the triumphant  return of the Pascal Candle at the  Easter vigil, the washing of the  feet to the confection of the new  baptismal water – these impres sive rites of the Holy Week liturgy mark our understanding pro foundly and invite us to a closer  union with Christ crucified. The  liturgy, in commemorating and re-enacting the events of the first  Holy Week, puts us into contact  with the real centre of the universe, Jesus Christ. 

Through the liturgy, we acclaim  Christ at His triumphant entry  into Jerusalem. Through the liturgy we witness His lesson of  charity to neighbour, and accompany Him to the Garden of Olives.  The liturgy places us in Lithostro tos, Pilate’s place of judgement,  where we see Christ unjustly condemned by the negligence,  sloth, intemperance, and malice  of men. The liturgy takes us step  by step to Calvary, to see the  God-Man immolated on the altar  of the cross for our sins, purifying  the ravaged earth with the laver  of His Precious Blood.

As we relive Christ’s passion  and death, we should consider  that each word and action of our  Blessed Lord was given for our  personal instruction. Christ is  God, and His words do not have  simply a local or temporal significance, but one which is universal  and eternal. When Christ told  His Apostles: “For I have given  you an example, that as I have  done to you, so you do also,” He  was speaking to each one of us.  When He warned them to watch  and pray so as not to enter into  temptation, He was warning each  one of us also.  

Through His Passion and Death  Christ has given us access to God  the Father. In exchange for our  humanity he has made as partici pants in His Divinity. In response  to the malice and rejection of  men He has opened the infinite  treasure of His Sacred Heart of  forgiveness, redemption and  sanctification. This Heart has one  desire – to be known, adored and  loved by men. 

Christ therefore asks us every  day: “Could you not watch one  hour with Me?” Christ calls us to  this intimacy with Him regularly,  daily, knowing that the one thing  that can calm our restless hearts,  quiet our raging passions, and  sweeten our load is the solace  of intimate union with Him. He calls us knowing our occupations  and pursuits, our joys and our  cares, our habitual faults and  our aspiration of greatness and  virtue. Christ calls…and how few  there are who heed the call of the  Master. 

Christ calls when the day begins.  He calls when joy or distress  makes itself felt in our heart. He  calls when our family is united at  the end of the day. He calls when  we have the opportunity to attend  Holy Mass, on Sunday or on a  weekday. He calls when He is  present within us, but sees us still  so closed to his love and His in spirations, waiting only to resume  our material pursuits. “Could you  not watch one hour with Me?” 

So often we leave the presence  of Christ without having been  refreshed, thinking that we have  done Him a favour by our gift  of time or attention for a few  moments. If only we knew the  gift of God, and could see Who it  is who favours us with His grace  and love, we would simply ask,  and the Master would give us the  living water which flows unto  eternal life. 

May the meditation of Christ’s  Passion open to us the treasury of  Christ’s Sacred Heart to us again.  May it teach us to seek there  respite in every trial, consolation  in every sorrow, courage in every  battle, and constancy in every change of life. May it teach us to truly with St. Paul: “And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me.   And that I live now in the flesh: I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered himself for me.” 

Many thanks for the generous support which enables us to pursue God’s work in our parish and school. 

Wishing you every grace and blessing this Easter, 

Father Marcel Stannus