- In the book, “The Last Temptation of Christ,” there is a scene where the devil slithering like a snake goes up the back of the cross, out of view of everyone. The devil comes to Jesus one last time to suggest one great final temptation. He whispers in Jesus’ ear as He was dying, “O come on Jesus, look at them… they are not worth all this suffering. Give them what they deserve, give them hell.” Jesus responds “No, I would rather die than stop loving them.”
- The story tells a great truth: that Jesus would rather die than stop loving us. That there is no limit to God’s love. There is no enemy that can snatch us out of His hand, and there is no way he will stop caring for us. This shepherd does not discriminate.
- He is the Good Shepherd who never abandons his flock and who protects us at any cost including giving his life for us.
- I wonder how many of us care so deeply to give our lives for others?
- We are on the threshold of Holy Week when these earth-changing events are remembered and celebrated.
- Holy Week begins with Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem only to sink into betrayal. There is a remembrance of Jesus’s giving us his body and blood. We recall his death and burial and, of course, his glorious resurrection from the dead, changing our world forever.
Holidays can bring increased emotional stress and triggers that may lead to substance abuse. Family conflict, trauma, financial concerns, and feelings of loneliness can intensify during the holidays, so it’s crucial to be prepared and equipped with healthy coping strategies.