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Pope Francis Asks Us to Contemplate: 'Who am I before Jesus who is suffering?'

April 18, 2014 — On Palm Sunday, Pope Francis delivered an unscripted, Ignatian-style homily, in which he invited each of us to ask some very personal questions of our own roles in the Gospel story during Holy Week: "Where is my heart? Which of these people do I resemble most?"

The pope set aside his prepared homily and instead urged people to adopt an exercise recommended by St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits: imagining themselves as one of the characters in the Gospel story.

Throughout the Holy Week liturgies, the pope said "it would do us good to ask one question: Who am I? Who am I before my Lord?"

"Am I able to express my joy, to praise him?" the pope asked. "Or do I keep my distance? Who am I before Jesus who is suffering?

"Am I like Judas? Am I a traitor?" the pope asked. "The disciples didn't understand anything and they fell asleep while the Lord suffered," he said. "Is my life one of sleeping?"

Pope Francis did not offer explanations but asked people to let "these questions accompany us throughout the week."

Today on Moved to Greater Love, the U.S. Jesuits’ digital, communal Lenten and Easter prayer experience, the reflection also calls for imaginative contemplation. After reading the Passion, it asks us to “be at the foot of the cross with Mary and the faithful women disciples as they silently witnessed Jesus dying. All is finished as Jesus bowed his head and emptied himself on the cross for us.”

[Source: Catholic News Service]






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The Sioux Spiritual Center, nestled amid the hills of western South Dakota, is the heart of the Diocese of Rapid City’s efforts to develop native clergy and leadership on the reservations.