Loading
Life in Christ is a call to ‘heroic, self-sacrificing love’
By Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

April 11, 2001

 

Cardinal Augustine Meyer once wrote that, “Nothing great is ever achieved without suffering.” His words come back to me every year during Holy Week. They remind us that discipleship always has a cost. No Christian ever lives the Gospel without eventually encountering the cross. During the Triduum — Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday —the Church invites us to remember that sin is real and that only blood can redeem it . . . but also that God loves us so deeply that He sent His only son to offer Himself for our deliverance.

 

In giving His life for us, Jesus asks us to live our lives for others. He asks us to share in His work of redemption. That’s why the Gospel is never merely a call to be “nice” to others. There’s nothing sweet about Golgotha. Life in Jesus Christ is a call to heroic and self-sacrificing love. If we want to rise with Jesus on Easter, we also have to share His work of salvation on Good Friday.

 

C.S. Lewis captured this basic Christian understanding very clearly when he wrote that, “Christianity is a thing of unspeakable joy. But it begins not in joy, but in wretchedness, and it does no good to try to get to the joy by bypassing the wretchedness.”

 

Of course, the nature of everyday America in 2001 is that we all live our lives in routines — routines that tend to dull us into self-absorption at work, at play, in our families, and also in our religious faith. Even the broken body of Christ on the cross can become a standard piety, an object of devotion that doesn’t really touch our hearts. That’s why these days of Holy Week are so vital. Holy Week is the most sacred time of the year. It’s a time to wake up from our routines and shake off the distractions of daily life — and to concentrate on the One in whom we anchor our hope.

 

This year, listen to the Word of God with new ears. Make some personal room for silence this week. Read and pray over the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion. Venerate the cross. Remember the price paid for your redemption. Understand how zealously God loves you . . . and when you do, you’ll begin understand the meaning of the Gospel and the urgency of your own vocation to bring the fruit of God’s love — new life in Jesus Christ — to others.

 

Good Friday is an end: an end to death; an end to our old selves and our old selfishness. Easter Sunday is a beginning, the beginning, of a new and “unspeakable joy” for each of us and all of us. The sorrow of Holy Week is the doorway to something infinitely more beautiful.

 

So may God grant you and your family, and all of us, a blessed Holy Week — and a holy and joyfilled Easter!

 

Your brother in Christ,

+ Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

 

Printed with permission from the Archdiocese of Denver.

 

Ads by Google
(What's this?)

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
17

Liturgical Calendar

April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 13:1-15

Gospel
Date
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Second Reading:: 1 Cor 11:23-26
Gospel:: Jn 13:1-15

Homily of the Day

Jn 13:1-15

Homily
Date
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: