Pope Francis tells the inmates at Regina Coeli prison present for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper that Jesus risks himself by serving others because he loves so much.
By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
Pope Francis, speaking off the cuff during his homily during the Mass of the Lord's Supper at Regina Coeli prison, contextualized the Gospel passage from John in which Jesus washes his disciples’ feet.
Jesus does what a slave does
He explains that this was a task done by slaves. After having dirtied their feet on the dusty roads, people would return home. As soon as they entered their house, a slave would provide the “service” of washing their feet. “Jesus wants to do this service to give us an example of how we must serve one another,” Pope Francis says.
Those who command must serve
The Pope then brought up the passage where two disciples “who wanted to climb the corporate ladder” asked Jesus to give them the most important places. After looking at them with love like he always did, Jesus told them they didn’t know what they were asking. He described what those in positions of power do: “command and make others serve them.” In thinking of times past, Pope Francis says that there have been many kings and cruel people who have made slaves of other people. But Jesus says it must not be this way with us. “The one who commands must serve,” the Pope reminds us. “Jesus overturns the historical cultural habits of that time, but also of our own day.” If only the kings and emperors of the past had understood Jesus’ teaching and had served instead of commanding and killing, "so many wars would never have happened," Pope Francis observes.
Jesus serves today in me
Turning to those present, Pope Francis told them that Jesus tells those discarded by society that they are important. “Jesus serves us today, here in Regina Coeli.” Jesus risks himself for each person. Jesus does not know how to wash his hands of people. He knows how to risk for his name is Jesus, not Pontius Pilate. In going after the lost sheep, Jesus risks being wounded, Pope Francis asserts.
“I am a sinner like you. But I represent Jesus today,” Pope Francis confessed. He then invited the prisoners to think of the fact, as their feet were being washed by him, that “Jesus took a risk with this man, a sinner, to come to me to tell me that he loves me. This is service. This is Jesus. Before giving us himself in his body and blood, Jesus risked himself for each one of us—risked himself in service—because he loves us so much.”
Ash Wednesday is just around the corner. Yes, you heard me. Ash Wednesday is next week, Feb 14th to be exact. Valentines Day is Ash Wednesday. I can't believe its already here.
Are you ready? What will you do for Lent?
So, here we are again. 40 days to prepare. We are called to deepen our spiritual lives. We have been given the tools, fasting, prayer and almsgiving. So what are you going to do? Lets join this gym for our spiritual life and get to work. Participating in these practices improves our spiritual well being. Lets strip away all that is unnecessary. Lets focus on God. Lets open our eyes and our hearts and become more mindful of how God is working in our lives.
Are you ready to walk into the desert?
(As I was writing this, I found this writing below on another blog. It was perfect, so I hope you enjoy it)
The desert is a dry, dusty, desolate place. Our winter landscape covered with snow in some ways resembles a desert of sorts. The monastic tradition of desert connotes caves, silence, solitude and a withdrawal from people. The desert offers a place for inner reflection and contemplation to encounter our relationship with God and self.
Do you remember singing this song as a child? I do and I loved singing this song. It always made me feel so special. I would sing it in the car, riding my bike, I would sing it everywhere. No matter where I was, if I started singing this song my friends would join in.
How about you? Did it make you feel special? Did it make you feel like a child of God and so proud to shine?
My question is this, when did we lose this? When did we stop shining? When did we stop singing?
Lets go back to that childlike love, that childlike enthusiasm, that childlike joy. Sit and remember that Child. Let go of what the world has told you or showed you. Let go of what you think of yourself (if its not loving). Let go of all the lies you have told yourself. Let go of the fear and lets shine!
Now repeat after me and lets sing together:
Marianne Williamson says it so well in her book, A Return to Love...
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
By: Melody Beattie
One day, a friend called me on the phone. He was going through a difficult time and wondering if and when things would ever turn around and improve. I knew he was in a lot of pain; I didn’t know then that he was considering suicide.
Dear Fellow Pilgrims,
We have an exciting new year ahead of us. I love to look at the new year as a clean slate. The beginning.
Our slate is filling up and we have many adventurous pilgrimages planned. I will actually be travelling for two months straight, I have back to back pilgrimages ahead of me. This is both exciting and nerve racking all at the same time. In between the April Camino Pilgrimage and the June Medjugorje pilgrimage, my son Cale and I will be walking the complete Camino de Santiago. St Jean to Finisterre(890kms). I will be starting a personal blog. So stay tuned!
Our First pilgrimage for 2018 is exciting because I have planned this with my parents in mind. They have been wanting to join me and walk the Camino. They both are worried about their age and health. My dad is ready to go, he walks every day, he is in good health and he loves an adventure. My mother on the other hand, is doing this for her husband. Yet, once she said "Yes", now she too is feeling the call and the pull to walk the Camino. I have added a few extras on this pilgrimage that I usually don't include in the price. I have included van support and luggage transfer. Even though they are transferring their luggage, they have both committed to packing light just like they were carrying their pack. My Mom thinks I should of named it, The Silver Edition Camino! If you are interested in joining this motley crew, email me or give me a call! The dates are April 29-May 9.
My parents have started their training and I am helping them along the way. This is how the Lord opened my eyes to the idea of Camino Coaching. I receive so many questions about the Camino, planning, how to and so on and I thought what better way to help people walk the Camino. I have even met people at REI to help them shop. If you want to walk the Camino but don't know where to start, let me help you out! Camino Coaching, walk it alone or with a group, its your Camino, its your way! If you sign up and join me in a group, all the benefits of Camino Coaching are included.
Along with the Silver Edition Camino, we have many others planned. One of my favorites is the Enchanting Camino Frances. We will be doing this one, September 4 - 22, 2018. I love this one because it is half of the Camino and you get to experience so much of the true Camino. Anyone can walk 4-5 days, but when you walk for 13 days you enter into another place. With this pilgrimage, you walk days before you reach the Iron Cross, you walk the climb up to O'Cebreiro and so many other feats. This route will bring you beauty and wonder. You will experience the mental (meseta) and spiritual (galicia) side of the Camino. This pilgrimage is filling up fast, great weather and great time to walk. If you are interested please email me or give me a call.
We are still in the planning for our Portuguese Camino, dates and information will be coming soon.
Enough about all the Camino talk, lets jump over to Medjugorje. I have two pilgrimages planned for this year. Join me, lets walk where heaven touches earth and truly feel the presence of Our Lord and His Blessed Mother!
37th Anniversary Pilgrimage: June 23-July 3, 2018
Celebrate the 37th anniversary of Our Lady in Medjugorje. Be present for the anniversary message and for Mirjana’s apparition at the Blue Cross on July 2, 2018.
Quiet Fall Retreat Pilgrimage: Nov 6 – 10, 2018
Join us for this quiet time in the village. Perfect time for reflection and quiet time with Our Lady and her Son Jesus!
Please don't hesitate to call, email or text me if you want more information:
Cell Phone: 706-835-7994
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox