Friday of the Passion of the Lord (2013)

John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States, once wrote “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” There can be no doubt that this describes our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for he is the epitome of a leader. Another important quality of a leader can be expressed with the maxim “never ask others to do what you are unwilling to do yourself.” Again, Jesus is perhaps the finest example of this, especially through his passion and death on the cross.

Christ Crucified

Christ Crucified

No doubt, in compiling a list of great leaders, we seldom, if ever, include God. But shouldn’t we? Shouldn’t God be at the top of every list of great leaders? After all, God created us and watches over and guides us every moment of our lives. Through Him we are given the gifts to dream, to learn, to live, and to be all that we are meant to be. Without God, we would be nothing, we simply would not be.

God, through His actions, gave us Jesus – the Son of God and the son of man – to set us free from the slavery of sin. The Gospel of John proclaims “In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God…The Word became flesh, he lived among us…” [Jn 1:1, 14] Jesus, The Word, became man to provide for us that perfect example of leadership.

Every action that Jesus took – the words that he spoke, the works that he performed – lead us toward the Kingdom of God. And while we believe that through his death and resurrection we have been granted the opportunity to share in eternal life with God, what Jesus gave us is so much more. Jesus gave us the means, the means to achieve everlasting life with God. He showed us the way, the truth and the life we are to live.

Through his suffering and death on the Cross, Jesus showed us just how much God loves us and to what depths He is willing to go to prove to us His love. He became flesh, a human being, who felt the same joys, sorrows, pain, and sufferings as every human being. He was born; he lived, suffered, and died as a human being. And upon his death we read that “he handed over the spirit.” [Jn 19:30]

The flesh is mortal but the spirit immortal; man dies but the spirit remains. Jesus exemplifies this duality of the human condition, our physicality and our spirituality, our body and our soul.

We live but for a brief, brief moment in time here on earth but will live forever in the spirit.

Jesus spread his arms out on the cross to show us the way, to lead us to the open and loving arms of God. If we follow Jesus, if we live our lives as he lived his, if we can live as true examples of Christ crucified, then we will be welcomed into His heavenly kingdom with open and loving arms.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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