DAILY CATHOLIC for April 3-5
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no. 67

Getting to the
Heart of the Matter

by Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

INTRODUCTION: "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns. In this issue she prepares us for the glorious Resurrection by reminding us it will only be glorious if we walk with Jesus along the way to Calvary and not shy from suffering whatever He wills in her column Why Jesus chose to suffer.

     Her column, along with columns by Father John Hampsch, C.M.F. and Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv., provide effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www.heartofmaryministry.com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy@aol.com by e-mail.


      This coming Sunday is Passion Sunday, also known as Palm Sunday. With it we begin Holy Week and the observance of the last week of Lent which includes Holy Thursday, Good Friday and ends with the wonderful and glorious Easter Sunday.

      I LOVE Easter Sunday. I love the commemoration of Our Lordís resurrection and triumph over sin and death. I love the lilies which join in by their beauty and wonderful aroma to announce: HE IS RISEN!

      But Iím getting a bit ahead of myself I want to digress first about the reasons why Jesus chose to suffer in order to redeem us.

      You know, He did not HAVE to choose to suffer. Since Jesus is DIVINE as well as human (He had two natures), every single act of His had infinite value. One blink of His eyes, one footstep, one nap, one trip to the well for water, one use of the hammer in the carpenter shop could have been used by Him and accepted by His Father to redeem the whole world. Everything Jesus did was infinitely pleasing to the Father and had infinite value. No matter how seemingly insignificant the act or unbeknownst to the people of His day, each act of Jesus or ANY act of His could have redeemed every person who had ever lived, was living at the time or would live.

      So then the question is: Why did Jesus choose the way of suffering? The answers are MAINLY two-fold. Jesus chose to suffer 1) to show us how terrible sin is and 2) to show us how much He loves us.

      Sin is THE reason why we need redemption at all. Sin is an offense against God. Sin offends God. God abhors sin. No sin is so small that God can be pleased with it. Even the so-called "white lies" are not "white." Sin is a contradiction to the very nature of God Who is All- Goodness. Sin is saying "NO!" to God.

      In the Scriptures Jesus said: "If you love Me, keep My Commandments." Not keeping Godís Commandments, whether in big areas or lesser ones IS sin. Our world today loves sin; loves to disregard Godís laws; accepts and loves evil. No sin is a "little" as one could not say that slapping Jesus is a "little" act.

      On the cross we SEE what our sins did to Jesus. We see in action the price He paid - a magnanimous price and the tremendous love it took to go the way of suffering. "Greater love than this no one has, that He lay down his life for his friend."

      Had Jesus chosen an "easy" way to redeem us, than all of humanity could understandably say: SO!!!! How does THAT prove God loves me? Or how does THAT show me how terrible sin is?

      Now, we have no excuse for those questions. Meditating on the Passion and Death of Jesus paints a very clear picture for us. Sin IS terrible to God and, yes, He loves us truly - infinitely - for in His sufferings and shedding of every last drop of His blood, we MUST acknowledge: GREATER LOVE THAN THIS NO ONE HAS, THAT HE WOULD GIVE HIS LIFE THAT I MIGHT LIVE FOREVER.

      Easter will have greater meaning for us if we "walk" the Passion with Jesus.

      Please be sure to get to confession before Easter! God bless you!

April 3-5, 1998     volume 9, no. 67
Sister Lucy Column

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