As we enter another Holy Week, it is fitting to reflect on how far short we fall from holiness. This holiest week of the year actually offers us examples in the lives of the Apostles. Jesus Christ chose twelve to be His original followers. How many followed Him to the Cross? Only one.
How many Catholics are there today who refuse to follow the Divine Master? Like that first Holy Week, the majority of Christ’s followers flee from the path to Calvary.
The Sexual Revolution: Betraying the Son of Man With a Kiss
Our Lord Jesus Christ emphasized purity in His example and in His teaching. Sadly, the majority of today’s Catholics reject His grace to lead pure lives.
Innocence is being destroyed before our eyes. The true Catholic family is mocked and degraded. Pornography is now openly labeled a public health crisis.1
In his speech for the Georgetown University commencement in 2003, Francis Cardinal Arinze spelled out very well the modern attack on the family: “In many parts of the world, the family is under siege. It is opposed by an anti-life mentality as is seen in contraception, abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. It is scorned and banalized by pornography, desecrated by fornication and adultery, mocked by homosexuality, sabotaged by irregular unions and cut in two by divorce.”
Since Cardinal Arinze spoke those words, we could add to the list same-sex “marriage,” transgenderism, open marriages, and a slew of other aberrations. Lamentably, Catholics are just as likely as the wider culture to fall victim to these sins. Worse yet, the normalization of sexual deviancy is taught in many Catholic schools worldwide.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, Innocence itself, calls out today to all His wayward disciples as He spoke to Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Friend, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”
Apostasy: “Jesus of Nazareth? I know him not!”
The participation of so many Catholics in the Sexual Revolution is already scandalous enough. Is it any wonder that this should lead to open apostasy from the Faith?
The numbers tell a sad tale indeed. Parishes shuttered in diocese after diocese. Open dissent on Church teaching. In once-Catholic Europe, Sunday Mass attendance is less than 5%. Meanwhile, Islam is quickly becoming dominant across the continent.
In direct opposition to Our Lord’s words in the Gospel, clergy are knowingly giving Communion to Catholics in the state of adultery. Growing numbers of Catholic politicians now openly support abortion, same-sex ‘marriage,’ and assisted suicide.
Worse yet, most of the Catholic world turns a blind eye to their brothers who are suffering and dying for their Faith in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Like Peter, the post-Christian West has by thought, word and action openly denied Him Who gave so many blessings to Christian civilization. With Peter in the courtyard, the threefold denial is echoed worldwide: “Jesus of Nazareth? I swear I do not know Him!”
The Crossroads: Two Very Different Outcomes
Both Judas and Peter committed grievous sins in that first Holy Week. For love of money and greed, Judas betrayed Jesus. Out of human respect and pride, Peter denied Our Lord.
But the paths taken by each apostle could not be more different.
It is a longstanding Catholic tradition that the repentant Peter went to Mary, and returned to the apostolic college. Judas refused to repent and seek out the Blessed Mother, and the Scriptures tell us he hanged himself in despair.
The Church in 2017, suffering from the ills of the Sexual Revolution and racked by apostasy, now stands at a crossroads. The solution is found at The Cross. Specifically, in going to Mary, who was faithful even to the foot of the Cross. The Mother Most Chaste and Virgin Most Faithful stands ready to welcome into the good graces of her Divine Son those who would repent and seek a new beginning.
Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira in his Way of the Cross concludes it thus: “The hatred of thine enemies surrounds the sepulcher, Mary Most Holy, and the Apostles. But they do not fear. In a little while the dawn of the Resurrection will break.”
“Let me not fear either, Lord Jesus, not fear when everything seems irremediably lost, not fear when all the power on earth appears to be in the hands of Thine enemies. Let me not fear because I am at the feet of Our Lady where true followers of Thy Church always regroup, and will always regroup, for new victories.”
A new victory is in store in 2017 for the faithful who repent and go to Mary. The solution for the Church lies at the crossroads…like Peter, go to Mary at the foot of the Cross. Continuing on the path of Judas will only lead to destruction.