The Examen with Father James Martin, S.J.: The Fifth Week of Lent



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A few weeks ago, I made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, with a group of 100 pilgrims. I’ve been there several times now, which has been a real surprise, since I never thought I would ever go. While we were there, it was announced that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which houses the place where Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead, was going to be closed, for a number of political reasons. Needless to say, our pilgrims were crushed. So we had to talk about disappointment, an inevitable part of life.

Lent is a good time to think about disappointment, since the season leads up to not only Easter Sunday, but Good Friday. On Good Friday, Jesus was, to say the least, disappointed. Disappointed in his disciples’ abandoning of him. Disappointed that his message wasn’t heard: remember, he weeps over Jerusalem. And perhaps disappointed that crucifixion was his Father’s will. In the end, the church opened in time for us to visit, but the lesson was still a good one. Jesus understands you when you are disappointed. And I hope that this can help you feel close to him, and more able to share your own disappointments.

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Deborah Henry
7 months ago

Jesus understands our disappointments and sees beyond our temporary circumstances; even fulfilling a desire for 'crushed pilgrims' to visit a tourist site. Our petty disappointments cannot even begin to compare with the crucifixion of Jesus. He was crushed beyond our comprehension.


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