The Easter Triduum: A Journey into The Paschal Mystery of Christ
must endure the disintegration of [our] freedom." We become "addicted" to our own "idols," and these idols begin to "exert more and more power over [us]" (Jesus Christ: Fundamentals of Christology, 337).
Pope Benedict explained that uniting ourselves with docile love to the will of God "is not slavery but an entering into truth, love, and the good. It is directing our will toward God."
Speaking of the agony Jesus suffered at Gethsemane, the Pope noted that "Jesus, with his anguish, charged with the drama of humanity, with our suffering and our poverty, transforms it into the will of God and thus opens the gate of heaven."
It is through the uniting of our wills to God's that the gate of heaven is opened within ourselves. By responding with love to God's grace, we are truly set free, re-created anew, and enabled to share in the divine life of God through our baptism into Christ -- right here and now, in each moment of our daily lives, we are graced with a sublime taste of heaven. What before had ruled us by sin, such as those deceptive and unsatisfying idols which we had chosen for ourselves, is now loosed from us: we are set free from the constraints of an empty world and given a burning encounter with unending and sustaining Love. We have a new life in God: not as slaves, but as his free children whom he loved so dearly as to suffer death on a Roman cross.
Our Holy Father explained that "the standard that guided each of Jesus' decisions during his entire life was his firm desire to love the Father and be faithful to him." As we relive the Holy Triduum, continued the Pope, "we make ourselves available to welcome God's will into our lives, aware that our true good, the path of our lives, is found in his will.
"May the Virgin Mother guide us," concluded the Pope, "along this path and grant us her divine Son's grace to be able to dedicate our lives, in the love of Jesus, to the service of others."
F. K. Bartels is a Catholic writer who knows his Catholic Faith is one of the greatest gifts a man could ever have. He is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit him also at catholicpathways.com
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Easter Triduum, Pope Benedict on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, Eucharist, Jesus washes the apostles' feet, F. K. Bartels
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