Sharing vulnerability part of Holy Week
As many young adults do, my first inclination in the morning is to grab my phone or tablet to check messages and status updates that came in through the night. Plus, I often use my tablet to say the Office, email, Facebook, Twitter, play a few games here and there, etc.
Early in Lent, I came down one morning to find my phone, my computer, my tablet, gone. None of the items were where I left them. Frantically, the questions started in my head: did I leave them somewhere else last night? Did I move them? Where are they? Etc. etc. It became clear pretty quickly that they were no longer in my residence; somehow, they had walked away from where I had left them. The frantic search for items became a frantic search for how this person got in to the residence at the parish. Every door was still locked. How did this happen?
Eventually, I found a busted out screen in a window and the mystery started to be solved, slowly. Thankfully, the phone was located via GPS location, but the rest of the items are still missing.
I realized fairly quickly that even though I use the missing gadgets extensively for the work that I do, they were, after all, just gadgets. Thankfully, even though I was upstairs, asleep, at the time, I was fine, and how easily that could have changed.
The question that haunts me is that someone was in my space, someone uninvited, without good intentions. And, there was a great sense of being vulnerable to the intentions of another.
As we were in Lent, it gave me great fodder for prayer, thinking about how Christ, the Lord and Creator of the universe, submitted to the will and intention of the other in giving himself over for our sins.
But it was long before just the events of Holy Week that this started.
Here He was, the Divine Word of God, and He responds in great love to His Father: Yes, yes I will leave the glory of heaven to go down below so that the human family might be restored to our family.
Yes, I will leave the comfort of the house and family that I knew on earth to proclaim the Kingdom of God, knowing it will lead to my death.
Yes, I will select 12 to be my closest followers and disciples, knowing they will often fall and make mistakes, with one even betraying me with a kiss.
Yes, I will submit to the torture and abuse of the Romans so that I can break the power of sin and death once and for all.
In all of this, Our Lord saw the vulnerability that was required, and freely chose and accepted it. He embraced it so that we might have life.
As we enter into Holy Week, how is Our Lord calling you forward to share that vulnerability? To put the needs of others before your own needs? To share freely of our gifts so that others might live?
Certainly, these are not easy lessons to learn, but when we learn them, we grow to appreciate life at a deeper level. We come to know Christ in the moment of His suffering.
In this, we will also come to know Him in the Resurrection, thanks be to God.
Father Kyle Schnippel is the archdiocesan vocation director.
This The Catholic Moment column originally appeared in the April 2014 print edition of The Catholic Telegraph.