Holy Week

Morning Prayer: Holy Week
April 14, 2014
Prayer by Fr. Joel Konzen, S.M., Principal of Marist School

A couple of weeks ago, on a Saturday morning, I was sitting in a student desk in a Marist classroom.  It was the first hour that day of a debate and speech tournament that Marist was hosting.  I was listening to 10-minute prepared speeches that high school students from around Georgia were giving.  I was surprised when the last speaker moved to the front of the room and began with a statement saying in blunter terms than I’m using that all her life she had been thought of as unattractive and, as a result, made fun of to the point of spending most of her days miserable and depressed.  She recounted locking herself in bathroom stalls at school so that she could escape taunts from classamtes, and she described the effect of her mother’s death, which further complicated her situation.  Her outlet, more and more, had come to be writing, and especially writing about her experiences.  It seemed to have been her saving grace.

The Marist student who sat beside me and the three other people in the room were, I’m sure, no less surprised than I was.  I was left pondering the fact that this girl didn’t have to think about what she would use as her subject; it was obvious to her that the subject was what she was bearing and contending with every day.

All of us are trying to get better each day at feeling what someone else is feeling and trying to understand their experiences.  This requires a healthy portion of respect.  I am glad for the respect that Marist students show each other and those outside the school on a daily basis, and I’m glad for the lessons and the advice that Marist teachers and coaches give in the area of respecting others.

In this week that we call Holy Week, when we remember the sufferings of Jesus because he was human, because he was one of us, let us pray that we can recognize the value of those whose experience is different from ours and that we can respond in love and respect to any cry of anguish or plea for help that we might hear today and each day to come.  In that way, we accompany Jesus on His journey from abandonment and pain in his last hours to the new life and joy that comes with leaving behind doubts and uncertainties that weigh us down.

Let us pray.

In the name of the Father…  O God, you who show us the path out of our own worries by calling us to serve others and to think of their needs over our own, give us the way to see your Son Jesus in those in distress and to reach out to them in care and respect.  Because of the abundant life that we have been given in Christ, our joy, may we express our thanks to you this week by helping others to carry their crosses as we shoulder our own burdens.  We praise you for what we can learn from the suffering of Jesus, and we hope we can imitate his ways and finally follow him to everlasting life.  In Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom,Pray for Us.

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