Dear Pope Francis,
Holy Week is one of my favourite times in the liturgical year. While a large part of it that I’m left awestruck by the immensity of God’s love and overwhelming gratitude for the events of the Passion and Resurrection, it also goes much deeper than that.
I love hearing the Passion narratives because I can relate to the feelings of the different people. In these accounts, I see the true humanity of Jesus, Peter, Judas and the other Apostles. In their actions, I see my own humanity reflected. In Judas’ actions, I see all those times I blatantly betray God, otherwise called sin. In Peter’s denial, I see all the times I boast in my faith and then fail to follow through. In the disciples who fall asleep in the garden, I see those times when I become slack in my faith. In Jesus’ prayer in the garden, I see those times when life gets hard and I don’t either don’t know where God is calling me, or don’t like where He is calling me. Finally, in the Passion, I see those times when things get hard, but I follow through.
What all these snippets of the story tell me is that life won’t be perfect, and perhaps more importantly, that I don’t need to be perfect. There are so many times when I get caught up in the idea that I need to be perfect before God will work in my life to do fantastic things. When I say perfect, I mean perfect: I mistakenly associate my ability to get my school work done, volunteer for everything and be friends with everyone with how much God loves me. Except, that’s not how it works.
God doesn’t wait for me to be perfect before He intervenes in my life. He’s there all the time, whether I mess up or not. I think you put it best, Pope Francis, when you said that the Church is field hospital for sinners, not a museum for the saints (Big Heart Open to God, Interview with Antony Spodaro). So, just like the solely human people in the Passion narratives, I am human and will make mistakes. I need to be in the field hospital, among the other hurting and broken people. But I also need hope that from all the mistakes and wrong turns, God will allow something fantastic to happen in my life.
Hanging out in the hospital,