With the beginning of Holy Week, we focus intently on the mystery of our salvation. The Palm Sunday liturgy paints the picture of joy, and at the same time invites us to meditate on Jesus’ sufferings. By identifying with the mystery of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection, we experience a great liberation, a pass-over from various sins and enslavement to a life of joy and freedom.
Have you ever been somewhere, and you didn’t want to leave? That is how St. Peter felt at the Transfiguration, which we hear in this Sunday’s Gospel.
Just recently, the winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, concluded, and the victors went home with their medals. I’m always riveted by the level of power, agility and endurance these athletes display on the ice and snow. I’m even more impressed, however, by their stories. Many of them discovered their talents at an early age and then committed their entire lives to the perfection of their physical and mental abilities. They trained every day, they sought the best coaches, and they sacrificed myriads of other opportunities, interests and pleasures for the pursuit of one single goal — Olympic glory.
The Magi of the Epiphany didn’t travel hundreds of miles to visit a baby — they were seeking the “newborn king of the Jews.”
Every morning when you awake, if someone were to ask you, “What is your purpose today?” I wonder what your response would be.