Holy Family

Holy Family

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Feast of Saint Richard of Chichester

Good morning. This past Sunday, Pope Benedict raised the question “Who is Jesus of Nazareth for us?” I suggest that He is our ultimate faithful friend. And as this Holy week unfolds we will discover this truth time and again. At the Last Supper Jesus tells his apostles, “One of you is going to betray me.” It would have been far more accurate had He said, “Each of you, and those who come after you are going to betray me”! Judas hands Jesus over for thirty pieces of silver. Peter denies knowing Him out of fear for his own hide. And well, the others all scattered for the four winds when they came for Jesus in the garden, leaving Jesus all alone. 

Even as Jesus spoke the words found in today's Gospel and dipped the bread, even as Judas left the upper room, our Lord’s offer of His love for Judas remained and He continued to want more for him. Likewise with the others; and with us our Lord doesn’t give up on us. He desires for each one of us to be all that our Creator intends for us to be. He is the ultimate faithful friend. He is with us no matter what and offers us His love and forgiveness. He only asks that we not give up on ourselves or on one another. Our saint for today, Saint Richard of Chichester reminds us that we need to take time each day to remind ourselves of the price Jesus paid for our sinfulness. “Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ For all the benefits Thou hast given me, for all the pains and insults Which Thou has borne for me. O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother, May I know Thee more clearly, Love Thee more dearly, Follow Thee more nearly, Day by day. Amen.” 

Just as our Lord never gave up on the apostles, and He remains faithful to us, we likewise are called in marriage to do the same for our spouse. We are called to be the ultimate faithful friend, the one who stands with us through it all, no matter what. Unfortunately we live in a world which tells us differently. We live in an age which tells us, “Do as you please.” That living committed faithful lives until our end day is foolishness. What the world fails to understand is the redemptive love our Lord offers to us and the sacramental grace which is available for us as we travel our nuptial journey. Just as He knew Judas would betray Him, just as He knew Peter would deny Him, and just as He knew the Apostles and each of us will not always be at His side, He remains true to us. He is the ultimate faithful friend. He is here with us now, and remains with us day by day until the end. This Holy Week let us recommit ourselves to do likewise, to be that ultimate faithful friend for each other day by day until the end. Make a great day! 

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Saint Richard of Chichester.

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