Message: Like St. Henry we will not find God's will in some place apart - but right here, right now, today. And it might require great sacrifice.
Welcome to Holy Week! This week we bring to a conclusion the Best Lent Ever. In the the book we are using, Resisting Happiness, Matthew Kelly writes, "There are four words that embody the challenge of Christian life; we find them in the fifth line of the Our Father: Thy will be done. These four words present the greatest challenge of Christianity."
Jesus challenges us but he never asks us to do something he has not done. In the Garden Jesus prayed that he might not have to face terrible suffering, but each time he added, "not as I will, but your will be done!"
Jesus came precisely to do the will of the Father. If you attend the Good Friday Service, you will hear - that, by his obedience, Jesus became the source of salvation. He is the true Son and he wants us to become sons and daughters through him. That is why he taught his disciples to pray, "Father...thy kingdom come, thy will be done."
What does it mean to do the will of the Father? For each of us, it will mean something different. A famous story illustrates that. Perhaps you have heard about King Henry of Bavaria. Being a man of deep piety, the intrigues of court life made him weary. Henry decided that he wanted to spend his final years in a monastery. He approached Prior Richard with the request. Fr. Richard explained the strict rules of prayer and work. King Henry listened eagerly and said he would gladly accept that discipline. The prior told the king he would have to pledge unquestioning obedience to the superior. King Henry said, yes, he knew how authority worked and he would obey the superior without question. "Then," said Prior Richard, "Go back to your throne and do your duty in the station God assigned you." The monk's words shocked the king, but he obeyed and became one of the fairest rulers in Europe. After his death, the people called for his canonization. The King who learned obedience to the Father's will is now known as St. Henry of Bavaria.
As we celebrate Holy Week, we might ask St. Henry of Bavaria to intercede for us. We may not have such a high post, but God has some task for each of us. For some it might mean simply to embrace their suffering: Not as I will, but your will be done! Like King St. Henry we will not find God's will in some place apart - but right here, right now, today. And it might require great sacrifice. This Holy Week we want Jesus' prayer to become our own: Dear Father, not as I will, but your will be done! Amen.
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