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Identified with the Suffering Christ

          During this Lenten season I have felt the Lord asking me to enter more deeply into our spirituality "They shall look upon Him Whome they have pierced."  While praying in front of the crucifix I realized that my vocation, caring for the poor and needy of every condition as a Sister, was an answer to a prayer I had made when I was in middle school.  I prayed that I would never be afraid to stand up for anyone.  It came as a result of a specific situation that I don't think I will ever forget.  There was a girl in my class that many students had started making fun of.  It began small, like most things do, but it grew into a daily isolation and taunting, which eventually led her to leave the school after that year.  I remembered when it started.  I didn't take part in it but I didn't do anything to stop the teasing either.  When I was asked by a teacher to be a friend to her, I did, although I was worried about what my friends would think.  They did confront me and asked why I was spending so much time with her.  It was so easy to play the blame game, "My teacher told me to."  I couldn't tell them that I really wanted to be her friend.  I didn't taunt her, but I didn't defend her.  Isn't that the beginning of the Stations of the Cross?  Pilate says, "I find no guilt in this man." But for fear of the crowd he has Christ scourged and crucified, washing his hands of it all or so he thinks.  Pilate has condemned Jesus.  The question is:  When have I condemned Jesus in my daily life?  Knowing Who Jesus is calls us to make a choice:  we are either with Him or against Him.  Looking upon the cross we know that we have pierced Him and by His grace we are saved.  If we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the merciful love of Christ Crucified we will choose Him.  We will choose to be identified with Him the suffering servant and with all those who suffer and are isolated.  I pray that each of us may be able to search for the suffering face of Christ in our lives and not be afraid to be identified with Him.

- an anonymous FSGM

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