Brief yet deeply meaningful was “Behold, we are going to Jerusalem”, Jesuit Communications and The Word Exposed’s online Lenten recollection, aired March 31, Holy Wednesday evening.
Garnering over 281,000 total views across the JesCom and Radyo Katipunan 87.9 FM social media pages, the annual gathering of Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle’s beloved Sunday Scripture reflection program centered on Pope Francis’ Lenten message, inspired by Matthew 20:18
“The Holy Father invites us to join Jesus as he journeys to Jerusalem, to fulfill his mission.
The mission he received from the Father, for which he came on Earth- to suffer, to die, to rise out of love for us,” began Cardinal Tagle.
“This Lenten journey with Jesus requires on our part-and by the grace of God- conversion. The Holy Father focuses on the three theological virtues- renewal in faith, hope and love. It is quite striking how he then connects conversion with the three disciplines of Lent- fasting, prayer, almsgiving.”
On the connection between renewed faith and fasting, Cardinal Tagle explained how first “accepting the truth revealed in Jesus Christ” is essential for journeying towards the fulfillment of life.
“Truth is Jesus himself, the living truth. He the truth is also the way to true life, the fullness of life. However, accepting Jesus’ passion and promise of resurrection may not be that easy. There are other ‘truths’, more worldly proposals that may appear more attractive.”
“Therefore, fasting as a form of self-denial, helps us find true life and fulfillment in Jesus, rather than in self-satisfaction. When we deny ourselves, we are free to accept Jesus. Pope Francis invites us to identify what things close our hearts, what weigh us down,” continued the newest member of the Roman Curia’s Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See.
Discussing the conversion to true hope, Cardinal Tagle encouraged the faithful to remain steadfast in the Lord, in the face of today’s challenges, magnified by the COVID 19 pandemic.
“Hope is focused on the future opened by the Father’s mercy, through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Hope is believing that history does not end in our mistakes, in our sinfulness. Hope means receiving with an open heart, the Father’s forgiveness.”
“We can recover hope through prayer. Through our silent encounter with the Father, we silence all the noise that makes us despair. We can listen to how much our Lord loves us, and allow Him to shed light and inspiration to our weary hearts,” advised Cardinal Tagle.
Following a few minutes of silent prayer, Cardinal Tagle described what it meant to truly “love in the footsteps of Jesus.”
“Love for Jesus is showing compassion for all, especially for those whom society treats harshly, those made to feel that they deserve condemnation. When you see the abandoned, neglected and feel for them, that is love. The love of Jesus is a vision that makes you see everyone as brother and sister.”
“Here enters the discipline of almsgiving. Pope Francis describes this as caring for those who suffer, real ‘giving’ from the heart. Our almsgiving will certainly give much joy if offered with love. The life of a community is really sustained by these little acts,” he added, praising the work of healthcare workers, parents and teachers during the pandemic.
As the recollection drew to a close, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples offered reassuring words and a message of thanksgiving to his audience, before his final blessing.
“Thank you for joining us in this recollection. We hope that your celebration of the Easter Triduum, even if greatly restricted because of the surge of COVID 19 cases, may still be meaningful. Nothing can prevent us from participating in Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. May you find the way to celebrate it individually, as a family, as a community- with Jesus, going to Jerusalem.”