Christ’s sacrificial love is our redemption Print E-mail
Written by Jean Denton   
March 29, 2015
Palm Sunday

Mark 11:1-10 or
John 12:12-16Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24
Philippians 2:6-11
Mark 14:1-15:47 or Mark 15:1-39

I was barely a teenager when I learned a profound lesson in friendship. In physical education class at school, the teacher appointed me one of two team captains to “choose up sides” for a softball game.

For my first choice I named Chris, my new friend since the previous summer when we had played together on a softball team. She was the obvious top pick for me since we loved playing ball together and she was quite good.

Even as I was calling out her name, I realized that my longtime “best friend” Margie wasn’t going to like that I didn’t choose her first. But I was concerned with selecting a winning team, I thought, so Margie would just have to deal with it.

After several rounds, I had all the players I needed to assure success. There were only three people left, including Margie, who by then was staring at the ground. When I called her name, she pointedly rolled her eyes as she joined my team.

She didn’t speak to me the rest of the day, and I knew she was angry.

That evening we finally talked. “I’m your best friend. I couldn’t believe you didn’t choose me first,” she said. I argued that we weren’t picking friends, we were picking the best players. But I realized I had made a terrible decision.

I’d denied my best friend right in front of all our other friends and classmates.

Margie forgave me quickly. She was a loyal friend who knew that our relationship was not only more important than winning a game, but transcended the sting of betrayal. Her love was stronger than that.

I knew I’d hurt my friend and, even at that young age, was surprised by the weakness of my disloyalty. The incident was like Peter’s denial of his friend in today’s Gospel.

In the account of Jesus’ passion, our savior suffered in every way. He was wrongly accused, physically tortured, mocked, betrayed, and denied by his closest friends. Broken and utterly alone, he endured the darkest moment a human being can experience.

Yet, he let it go, because his relationship with us was more important than the suffering — and his love more powerful than the failing of humanity.

Sacrificial love is our redemption.

This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.

Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
Click here to view or subscribe to the daily
Scripture readings from the United States Conference
of Catholic Bishops website.
Pope's Prayer Intentions: March 2015 Print E-mail
March Universal Intention

Respect for Women. That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.

March Evangelization Intention
Vocations.  That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2015.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Wednesday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 14
Ascension Thursday
Saturday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption (abrogated because it falls on Saturday)
Sunday, Nov. 1
All Saints
Tuesday, Dec.8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Thursday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Lenten Regulations Print E-mail

Catholics who have celebrated their 14th birthday are to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, all Fridays in Lent, and Good Friday.

In addition to abstaining from meat, Catholics who have celebrated their 18th birthday, until they celebrate their 59th birthday, are to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Those who are bound to this regulation may eat only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted if necessary to maintain strength according to one's needs, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted.

These minimal penitential practices should not be lightly excused.

For more information, including resources for penance around the diocese, click here.