By Fr. Brian Bashista
As we approach the Triduum (Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday), I wanted to share some thoughts with you about the connection between this year’s Lenten theme and the path of holiness to which God calls each of us.
Pope Benedict has chosen the “great theme of justice” for the focus of his 2010 Message for Lent. His reflections can be prayerfully applied to each person’s gift of self to God and others through their vocation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that justice as the moral virtue consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor. So by giving as a gift of oneself to God and others in the vocation Jesus calls them to, Christians are manifesting, at a deeply personal and generous level, this essential virtue of holiness.
“God has paid for us the price of the exchange in His Son, a price that is truly exorbitant. Before the justice of the Cross, man may rebel for this reveals how man is not a self-sufficient being, but in need of Another in order to realize himself fully. Conversion to Christ, believing in the Gospel, ultimately means this: to exit the illusion of self-sufficiency in order to discover and accept one’s own need – the need of others and God, the need of His forgiveness and His friendship. So we understand how faith is altogether different from a natural, good-feeling, obvious fact: humility is required to accept that I need Another to free me from “what is mine,” to give me gratuitously “what is His.” This happens especially in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. Thanks to Christ’s action, we may enter into the “greatest” justice, which is that of love (cf. Rm 13, 8-10), the justice that recognizes itself in every case more a debtor than a creditor, because it has received more than could ever have been expected. Strengthened by this very experience, the Christian is moved to contribute to creating just societies, where all receive what is necessary to live according to the dignity proper to the human person and where justice is enlivened by love….”
“Dear brothers and sisters, Lent culminates in the Paschal Triduum, in which this year, too, we shall celebrate divine justice – the fullness of charity, gift, salvation. May this penitential season be for every Christian a time of authentic conversion and intense knowledge of the mystery of Christ, who came to fulfill every justice.”
Pope Benedict XVI, 2010 Message for Lent