Beginning on Palm Sunday, 1010WINS in New York began airing a Holy Week message sponsored by Catholic Voices USA starring Cardinal Timothy Dolan, with narration work from Mother Agnes Donovan from the Sisters of Life.
The Holy Week message seeks to do a few things: One is to let people know about some of the active ministries in New York on fire with merciful love of God. Another is to explain who we are as a Church and why we do what we do: Because of Jesus Christ. We’re called as Catholic people to live according to the Sermon on the Mount, to engage with people as Jesus taught us to. And yet another reason for the Holy Week ad is to invite people in! Join us, Cardinal Dolan implores. Come to a Catholic church this week and encounter Christ.
He is Risen, Cardinal Dolan says during the message. That is the heart of the message. Even as we observe Christ’s Passion and death, as we do every year, we are a people of hope, we know about the Resurrection, His triumph over sin.
In Magnificat, the daily devotional, on Palm Sunday this year, there was a meditation from Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis. It concludes with: “Christ redeems us because he passionately embraces our rejection of him with a love unto death, and he will not let go of us.”
We cannot afford to let this week go by without encountering Christ and his gratuitous love for us.
Leiva-Merikakis, who is a Cistercian monk at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Mass. and also known as Fr. Simeon, suggests that to help us understand the Passion we might “expand the meaning of suffering from simply ‘undergoing pain’ to include ‘the willing activation of all the passions of the soul,’ intended to put love in the place of the beloved’s refusal to love.”
That is why anyone would ever serve as a priest or religious sister in a countercultural witness to this love. This is why so many of the ministries mentioned our Catholic Voices USA ad by Mother Agnes exist and thrive: Because of Jesus Christ and our mandate to love one another as He loves us! This is where the heart of a Catholic is called to be: united with His.
Listen to the ad online here.