Holy Thursday – Jesus’ Final Teaching

by Bishop Robert Barron

The night before he died, Jesus gives a strange, mystical speech to his disciples. This was his last will and testament. In the course of this seemingly rambling discourse, Jesus is luring them, for the last time, into his vision of things, which is to say, into a world in which the fear of death has been overcome.

From the beginning of his ministry, Jesus spoke of a divine love that loves us unconditionally, that reaches out to us even when we wander far away, and that loves us even through the terror and darkness of death. Just as he moved into the shame and marginalization of sin in order to bring the light to sinners, now he will move into the darkness of death in order to show us the way through.

Jesus is about to leave this world, and he prays that his disciples might know that they are not of this world. What does this world look like concretely? Well, look around.
The fear of death is like a cloud, like a terrible shadow that falls over human life and experience. All of our proximate fears are reflections of, and participations in, this primordial fear. It cramps us, turns us in on ourselves, and it makes us defensive, hateful, violent, and vengeful.

Further, structures of oppression in our world are predicated upon the fear of death. Because a tyrant can threaten his people with death, he can dominate them and perpetrate all sorts of injustice.

Whenever the strong (in any sense) overwhelm the weak, we are looking at the ways of death.

Jesus came to inaugurate what he called the Kingdom of God, God’s way of being, God’s order. This is an order based upon the infinite and death-defying love of God. What would the world look like under the influence of this love? It would be radically changed, revolutionized, replaced: “A new heavens and a new earth.”

What would life be like if we were no longer afraid? We would live as the saints do—not immune to suffering, but, if I can put it this way, unaffected by it. We would know that we are loved by a power that transcends death, and this would fill us with an exuberance beyond measure.


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  • Anton D

    ‘ The fear of death is like a cloud, like a terrible shadow that falls over human life and experience. ‘
    ‘ . . . structures of oppression in our world are predicated upon the fear of death. ‘

    ‘ What would life be like if we were no longer afraid? We would live as the saints do—not immune to suffering, but, if I can put it this way, unaffected by it.
    We would know that we are loved by a power that transcends death, and this would fill us with an exuberance beyond measure. ‘

  • Patti Nicholas Rusczyk

    Oh to be so in love with and focused on Jesus, that no suffering is enough. Jesus, increase my love for You.

  • ber

    Now we come to the nitty gritty of our journey this lent the death of the body in all its forms Jesus comes to give us life and life to the full but now the par excellence of his teaching the total death of himself thus despelling all the myths surrounding our exit from this world not with fanfare or jubilation but with a sigh our total amen to what we hold on to and to hold firm to the belief that we live again
    The brutal reality of what it cost to obtain this for us is shocking every grace we ever need is now obtained to overcome even death itself his teachings defy every fiber of our thinking giving witness to humility instead of pride are we afraid yes because sin still has a hold yes until we embrace the lord even the devil temptation the lord to forgo death but at this moment we have fought bravely killing our passions and now Jesus won for us that finial grace giving over our last breath in trust thank you bishop Barron a wonderful journey
    To all my fellow brothers a very happy Easter may many blessings fall upon you

  • Patrick Cassidy

    Death is everywhere in this world. But, we hold high our crosses proclaiming that death can’t keep us down. The modern day equivalent is our lifting up a noose, or electric chair.

    But, sadly this world will still try to use the same tactics of fear of death to force us to go against our faith. In America, we see bakers and the state of Georgia facing pressure to give in to same sex marriage at the fear of losing lots of capital, which feeds our families. No money = no livelihood = possible suffering and death.

    But, this pales in comparison to our Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East who are victims of genocide at the hands of ISIS (beheadings, crucifixions, etc..)

    Even with the Holy Spirit guiding us, these fear tactics are very real and powerful. But, have faith in the Lord always, and remember that the world persecuted Him first.

  • concerned citizen

    A priest once asked the congregation, who wants to go to Heaven? Everyone raised his hand. Then he asked, who wants to die now? Nobody raised his hand. Is that not funny? For how can you go to heaven without dying first? Every worry in the world is connected to the fear of death. When you are sick, you are worried because you fear you may die. When you are in financial crisis, you are worried because you fear you have no money to buy food and will die. Yet death is our only door to the next life. Some people are so afraid to even speak about death. My mother in law who had a graceful and peaceful death never worried about dying. Even before she died, her clothes that she would wear at her coffin was already prepared.

    • Nancy Rynders

      Interesting questions from your priest, totally engaging the congregation in this thought process. I wonder how I would have responded. I lost a cousin to cancer at a young age, my father and father-in-law shortly after. During those few years, I would wake up in the middle of the night feeling panicky, about death, the end of things as we know them. I need to think of it in a different light, as described in that Gospel. Yes, death will be the end of things as I know them, but the beginning of a happiness I can’t even imagine.

      • concerned citizen

        Nancy, I always tell people, when their loved one dies, that is now his new birthday – birth to a new life, the eternal life.

        • Barbara Ann Baugh

          I read somewhere that it is probably wrong to tell someone that their loved one is in Heaven. One should say they will pray for the repose of their soul, because the vast majority of souls go the Purgatory.

          • concerned citizen

            I agree with you 100% Barbra, but I still consider Purgatory as part of the eternal life. I offer my daily Holy Rosary and Mass for the poor souls in purgatory and especially my departed loved ones and for the departed loved ones of our fellow Rosary Soldiers of Mary.

          • Barbara Ann Baugh

            I really love the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory. I do not believe I could be completely happy in Heaven without it.

          • concerned citizen

            I posted twice the contents of the Read Me or Rue It at the RSM during the novena for the poor souls. Its the best book that I have on Purgatory.

          • Gary

            As a Catholic I have always had a problem understanding Purgatory. I guess it is because Jesus spoke mostly of going to either heaven or hell. I guess when I was young, I was told that Purgatory was almost as bad a place to go to as hell. I searched the New Testament and could not find anything about Purgatory. Maybe someone could enlighten me as to when and how Purgatory became part of Doctrine. This could help me a great deal in my daily walk with Christ.

          • Purpletta Purple

            Bishop Barron, Beautiful article and great reflection. Thank you.

            Gary, I have many of the same struggles. I will leave the Doctrine discussion for someone who can better respond. But for my own part I have found comfort per se in the idea of purgatory inasmuch as I know with all of my heart that even doing my best I will never be pure enough, never earn the right to go to Heaven. Only by the Grace of God may I find solace & purgatory allows me that space. God, our merciful God, will find not a just punishment (for I deserve not His kindness) but some measure and by his Grace I will be cleansed and readied for his Kingdom, to join him in Paradise. God bless you.

          • concerned citizen

            Gary, you may want to visit this link which shows an article by Fr. Saunders. He gives a very good explanation and Scriptural basis for the doctrine of purgatory.


            But for me, it is really more of common sense why I believe there is Purgatory. When you break the glass window of your neighbor by a stray softball, he may forgive you and remain friends with you but you still have to pay for the damage. The same is true for our sins which have been forgiven. If we have done enough penance for them, and we die with no venial sin, then we go straight to heaven. But if we have not done enough penance for them, then we have to pass through purgatory. Think of the countless sins we commit through our whole life, both sins of commission and omission and every single one of them offending our Lord immensely, then you can imagine just how much penance we have to do for them. The saints go straight to heaven, because they commit very few venial sins on one hand, and on the other hand, make so much good work, sacrifices and prayers every day in atonement not only for their sins but for the sins of others. Hence they go straight to heaven.

          • concerned citizen

            Gary, this follow up article also by Fr. Saunders on how to avoid Purgatory is most interesting


          • Geraldine (Gerry) Novotny

            Gary, I was told and believe to be true… When we die and are personally judged by God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we will see this Beatific Vision of the Trinity if only for a brief moment. We’ll see God!! While in purgatory we’ll have this image of the Beatific Vision ingrained on our soul knowing we will not be able to see Him again until we enter heaven. I was told our not being able to see the Beatific Vision will be our hell.

          • Anton D

            Here is a link to your question. I don’t really understand it but it is part of the Church teaching


            Right now I would like to stay on Jesus saying in :
            John 15:10
            ‘ You will remain in my love if you keep my commandments, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. ‘

          • Geraldine (Gerry) Novotny

            I believe we will go through a purification process before entering heaven. A person knows whether she/he is a saint and will go straight to heaven. However, most of us know we are not saints. Purgatory will be a blessing. Although, I believe, we will suffer in purgatory, just the mere fact that we know that purgatory is temporary we’ll have much hope… because we know we will see the Beatific Vision soon.

          • Barbara Ann Baugh

            I am sort of glad I am getting “suffering” practice on earth. I also believe we will meet some interesting people in purgatory. I am pretty much 100% sure I will get Purgatory

    • Barbara Ann Baugh

      This reminds me of a joke someone told me. A Catechism teacher asked her class. If I go to Confession once a month and go to Mass every Sunday will I go the Heaven. One bright child in the back raised his hand and said NO. Then the teacher asked “If I give all my belongings to the poor will I go to Heaven? The child shook his head and said No. If I practice all the works of mercy will I go to heaven? asked the teacher. No said the child. Then what must I do to go to Heaven? Asked the teacher. You have to die replied the child.

      • ber

        Loved it Barbara

  • AnthonyEkene

    “Jesus spoke of a divine love that loves us unconditionally”

    Over time,I have constantly pondered on what Christianity actually means.These days, there is so much allusion to prosperity, good health.In addition, you tend to see an almost rude superiority complex amongst Christians.I am not trying to condemn anyone but Love still so strongly comes across as the true essence of our faith.

    This Love has so loved us unconditionally hence removing the fear of death or whatever no matter how calamitous it may seem.

    I just read the readings for this evening’s mass.We have heard it so many times before.However, today, it felt very surreal. It seems Our Lord really wanted to make sure that these men who had been following him all about actually got the true dimension of his teaching and their apostleship.Maybe some of them had been following him for political reasons but on this last night with them, it was apt to set it all straight.

    The way St.John describes Our Lord going about washing the feet of his disciples clearly shows that this wasn’t some farewell stunt.Not at all.He just wanted them to get the true sense of what the past three years had been all about : Love and Service.
    It wasn’t just about changing water to wine to keep the party going.No, it was a demonstration of Love and concern for others.
    It wasn’t just about multiplying the loaves and fish for everyone to have their fill.No, It went deeper than that.It was Love
    It wasn’t about trying to sound more intelligent that the Pharisees and scribes. No, His was an intellect set on fire with Love that drove him to stand for truth and justice always.Besides, He was Truth himself.
    Then, He took it to the cross.We mark that event tomorrow.It wasn’t to make a point.No. Not at all.It was all Love for us.

    So If we think about it now: If Our Lord has loved us so unconditionally and set us an example on how to love others, we should fear nothing. We should constantly nurture a perfect love in our hearts that casts out the fear of the uncertainties of our world.
    Our Lives should be driven by the Mandatum Novum, the new commandment to love one another as he has loved us, to serve others like he served us no matter how humbling and undignified the situations may be.
    There is also a call to commune with him, to be nourished by his body and blood at mass which becomes a mark that protects us from being strucked down by the evil in the world.Hence, a call to attend mass more frequently which tends leads us to remember our priests.

    Today, we remember our priests, these noble gentlemen that dedicate their lives to service.I feel a special love for priests not just because I am catholic but that in my boyhood, I strongly considered becoming a priest.Sometimes, we hear not-so-nice stories of scandals involving priests.Many times, these are simply a product of malice and wickedness and at other times, they are possibly true.As they renew their promise of service in the Chrism mass today, we pray for these men whom God has called, chosen and marked with his Spirit to serve his people.

    Dear Lord, thank you for loving us and for giving your self to us in the Eucharist.May we always follow your example of Love and service and seek out opportunities to bring happiness to others.May we love unconditionally and thus stifle the fear of death in our lives.

    Lord, bless your priests all over the world.Strengthen them in their vocation.May they be chaste and pure always for your service.May they never feel lonely.May their hearts always burn with your love.Amen.

    • kayeloney@cox.net

      Anthony you have a great insight into the Divine Love. You might want to check into Luisa Piccarreta mystical writings (she was a victim Soul, Prophet) lived on the Eucharist for sixty some years. The Vatican is reviewing her books now for saint hood. Their are so many books (36 volumes and many pray books) it will take years to go through these writes mostly from Jesus. their is 1 book from Mary. The Hours of Jesus Passion her Confessor had published and the book on Mary. The Vatican released a book early this year on Luisa’s life called the Sun of my Will. by Maria Rosaria Del Genio the first prints went out to the Divine Will groups. I have not heard when the second printing will be available. Blessings to you in the Divine Will

      • AnthonyEkene

        Thank you, Kayeloney.I will check out the writings you refered to here.

      • ber

        Just reading the hours of the passion by her wow wow wow

        • kayeloney@cox.net

          Every intense you will ever think of the Passion without seeing it in your mind now. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass takes on a whole new meaning. Bless You for taking up this book. The Divine Will Centers have a clock schedule that they sent out and people read a chapter a day all over the country so the the complete book is read everyday.
          Blessings to you this Holy Week, just returned from Church the washing of the feet is always amazing to see a Priest on his knees washing a servants feet, of course I always see Jesus doing that, what Love, and Grace.

          • ber

            Yes thank you for reminding me I had forgotten about it blessings this Easter

    • Elizabeth

      How blessed we are with your prayers at the end of such a profound description of God’s love to us.

  • Mary Jane Madeline

    Bishop Barron, thank you for this reflection.It makes me remember,”Fear is Love Imperfect” , written somewhere in Scripture. Maybe somebody can tell me. That always seemed so profound to me and something to ponder. Bishop Barron, I enjoyed reading today’s Commentary.It definitely gives pause to our choice- the World or Accepting Jesus with Our Lord’s Way of unconditional Love, Serving with Love, and Trusting Him to be our Merciful Redeemer.Thanks and Praise to Our Father, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit , our One God.How awesome is our God.

    • AnthonyEkene

      Hello Mary, I am not sure but I suppose the part in scripture will be 1 John 4:18. Thinking about it again, fear seems like “We doubt Love” or “We refuse to Love”

    • Mary Jane Madeline

      Yes, Anthony. I think Love of God also includes Trusting Him.When we totally trust someone , there is no fear. More likely Love and Gratitude. And it is all available to us with God’sGrace and Holy Spirit.

      • Elizabeth

        Yes! Trusting God is what Thomas Merton after searching found out. Here is his prayer:

        My Lord, God, I have no idea where I am going.

        I do not see the road ahead of me

        nor do I really know myself,

        and the fact that I think I am following your will

        does not mean that I am actually doing so.

        But I believe that the desire to please you

        does in fact, please you.

        And I hope that I will never do anything

        apart from that desire.

        And I know that if I do this,

        you will lead me by the right road

        though I may know nothing about it.

        Therefore, will I trust you always, though

        I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death,

        I will not fear, for you are ever with me,

        and you will never leave me

        to face my struggles alone. Amen

        • Màire Ní Bhroin

          Thx for sharing that powerful prayer by Thomas Merton.God bless!

        • Mary Jane Madeline

          Thank you Elizabeth.. Thomas Merton’s prayer is lovely. He expresses true humility- no idea where he is going or even that he know himself well. But he understands that God is aware of the intentions of his heart and is pleased. What a Joy! And he believes!-that God will never leave him so he has no fear. I would call that near perfect Love.

  • Jim Kenny

    Lord please help me to not wander………..

  • Alicia

    When my Mother was dying a friend of my family who was a priest described this to me;
    A baby dwells within the womb of their Mother, safe, warm, & fed, a universe of absolute love, peace and contentment.
    The child knows nothing of a loving family waiting at the end of painful journey.
    So it is with our life now, we cling to what we believe is the comfort of the womb. But Jesus came to tell us to turn our eyes to Him and Heaven. That there is our Holy Family, waiting for each of us, the fulfillment of all we have been yearning for, Love Itself!
    Sometimes the dying process is painful as is the birth process.
    Ultimately it is Love we are delivered to.

    • D Blyth

      Excellent analogy!

    • AnthonyEkene

      Nice analogy,Alicia.If we all could really learn to look beyond this world,how happy and peaceful we would all be.

      • Alicia

        Amen Anthony!

    • Mary

      Excellent, thanks

    • Jackie

      A priest friend gave me this poem that he wrote during his later years.


      by Rev. Nelson Boucher

      The most important moment of life is the moment of death.

      For those alive with the life of God, death means birth to new life.

      “For those who believe life is changed, not ended”, claims the preface.

      By dying “we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven.”

      Death is the traumatic experience of birthing to a new life.

      There is no new life without a form of dying;

      Whether it be on the physical, mental or spiritual level.

      Jesus teaches that the grain of wheat must die for the sake of new life.

      Physical death is leaving the human way of measuring time and space;

      And entering into God’s immeasuraable NOW.

      We are conceived in time by the co-creating action of parents and God.

      We are delivered into God’s hands at our last human breath.

      Our parents provide the genes, God provides a spiritual breath.

      The life given by parents will know death as does that of all creatures.

      The breath provided by God will live eternally.

      When we shed our body-home, a glorified body-home awaits us.

      Paul attests that if we die with Christ, we will live with him.

      For Paul, “to live is Christ and to die is gain”. Phil. 1:21).

      Symbolically, we were buried with Christ in the waters of baptism.

      Effectively, we follow Christ through death to a new risen life.

      God’s plan is as beautiful as it is simple. It expresses His love.

      God’s breath has a way of outgrowing homes on it’s way back to Him;

      First, a mother’s womb encompassing new life like a tabernacle;

      Then, the male or female body-home until we are called back to God.

      While in a mother’s womb, a child cannot be cajoled to hurry birth.

      While in our body-home not even Jesus can convince us of life beyond.

      We have a natural fear of barriers and the greatest of these is death.

      Yet it is good for the baby to be born; it is good for the believer to die.

      Why do people fear the word “death” and the experience of dying?

      Why expressions like, “expired” or “passed away” instead of “died”?

      It is good for the breath of God to retrace its origin to the Breather.

      It is good of us to follow Jesus in death as we followed him in life.

      • Elizabeth

        Thank you for this blessed poem by Rev. Nelson Boucher.

      • Alicia

        Just beautiful Jackie!

      • kayeloney@cox.net

        What Trust this Priest had may we all go like that. In the Peace of the Lord, for he is with us.

    • ber

      Beautfull put Alicia

  • jmmick8

    As someone involved in bereavement ministry for many years, I am always befuddled my extreme measures taken by people to avoid death. We are here to go there. We are born into death and we die into life. Our rebirth will make earth look like a cesspool, which it is.
    Happy Easter.
    He is risen.

    • Elizabeth

      the movie Full of Grace, written and directed by Andrew Hyatt, depicts Mary last days on earth. She was aware of her time to go and her demise is shown with such eternal grace.

    • Elizabeth

      Jim would be interested to know if you experienced someone who accepted death with peace in their heart?

    • Gary

      I will say AMEN to that. This world offers us nothing that is lasting. Jesus offers us eternal life….and that is a long time.

  • kayeloney@cox.net

    Fear is forms of tactic’s of the darkness of this world. Pope John Paul II was correct in saying Do Not Be Afraid. We all have to pass through the three day’s of darkness that the Lord Jesus passed through. (actually 36 Hours over a 3 day period) When we rise we arise to Light, and the Love of the Lord Jesus, if you have had a good pilgrimage. If not you will see Jesus, I understand that the person in front of true Love sent’s their own self to Purgatory or Hell. The reading’s of The Hours of the Passion By Luisa Piccarreta save’s many Soul’s from Hell.Blessings to you this Easter Week.
    Peace be with you and with your Spirit.

    • AnthonyEkene

      Still my best words from Pope St. John Paul II “Do not be afraid”.

  • Gary

    The agony in the garden. Can we really relate to what Jesus was agonizing about to the point of sweating what looked like blood? We have a tendency to relate more to the physical punishment he was to endure, and while that in itself was brutal, I relate more to the Spiritual agony he endured, knowing he knew no sin, yet, would have to take upon himself every filthy, perverse, cruel sin, while his Father looked away because he cannot look upon sin. I think this was his darkest and most agonizing time in the garden. Just think how much God loves you and me to put his own Son through this, and how much Jesus loves you to say yes to his Father.

    • Geraldine (Gerry) Novotny

      The Mystery of the Agony in the Garden… Jesus suffered the MOST in the garden and, yes, He did sweat blood. This has been proven. Being God, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus knew how and when He was going to suffer and die…thus His extreme agony. We would suffer immensely if we knew when and how we were going to die…

  • Kathy

    I just read that a priest captured by ISIS may be crucified on Good Friday. How dark our world is! The evil is palpable. It is so easy for us to fall into fear, losing hope and wallowing in despair. But the light and joy of our Savior rescues us from fear and death by His ultimate sacrifice. Keeping our eyes focused on Him is the only way to peace. Knowing that He walks with us dispels all hopelessness. How can we ever explain how grateful we are for what He has done? By trying to live as He taught and praying for our enemies. Thank you Fr. Barron for your words of great wisdom!

    • Barbara Ann Baugh

      Let us all pray for that priest that he may have strength to face his martyrdom.

      • Kathy


    • Elizabeth

      On RSM someone posted the martyrdom is a phony. Also the Vatican is working on his release as they have for other priests captured at other times. In the meantime keep praying for Fr. Tom in his captivity and pray the Vatican can have him released.

      • Kathy

        Thank you, Elizabeth. I really hope that Fr. Tom is rescued if in fact this is true.

  • Barbara Ann Baugh

    I have survived 2 death sentences handed to me by the Dr.s. Just last month I was put in a life threatening situation. Did I fear death even after the anointing of the sick. You bet I did. What were my fears though? They were not for myself they were for my children. I think that is what we all fear in death. I believe that Jesus (Very Humanly) felt that sorrow in the Garden. His Apostles most certainly didn’t get it yet. They would be filled with horror and fear. All would run away in fear only John would return with his mother and the women to be with him at the cross. Peter would betray Him. One cannot not imagine the sorrow he felt for what his Apostles would go through for the next 3 days.

    • D Blyth

      Barbara, I experienced the same overriding concern when diagnosed with cancer last year – the stress burden my family.
      Tonight I watched Scott Hahn’s “The Fourth Cup” which deals with the last Supper and Crucifixion. From that explanation I concluded that He: felt pain and stress; knew His divinity; had free will and choice; knew what lay ahead; knew what our failings were.
      He nevertheless chose to embrace His sacrifice for us.
      His anguish must have been immeasurable!

      • Barbara Ann Baugh

        Blyth how did you watch this. Was it on EWTN or was it on YouTube. or is it a DVD? This time when I was in a life threatening situation. I received the anointing of the sick. When Fr. raised his hand to give me absolution, I saw indescribable silver white drops of grace coming down on me. Then I knew everything would be all right.

        • D Blyth

          I have a DVD of the programme.
          You can watch and read at http://www.the4thcup.com/
          The DVD is available at https://www.lighthousecatholicmedia.org/store/title/the-fourth-cup

          I felt an inexplicable peace when I went in for surgery. Many were praying for me, including members from my parish.

          • Barbara Ann Baugh

            Blyth Thank-you for the links. I was in the process of posting last night when my computer decided to crash so my post was lost.
            When I had surgery for my first cancer (esophageal) it was a 9 hour surgery. My parish arranged for someone to be praying in the adoration chapel the entire 9 hours. Prayer is definitely the greatest power in earth

  • Patti McBride

    Definately one of Bishop Barren’s better reflections.

  • Màire Ní Bhroin

    Thx for your compelling reflections Bishop Barron!Have a blessed Easter everyone!

  • cookala

    What does the following phrase mean, from today’s reflection? “just as he moved into the shame and marginalization of sin order to bring light to sinners”…..I cannot understand this phrase.

    • Obiyer

      I understand that line as Christ going to places society shunned. Such as prostitutes, or maybe when he went to the house of tax collectors. Sometimes, I know myself, we are scared to help the poor. Christ goes to the morally dirtiest foulest places on Earth. Perhaps this is relevant to the line in which Christs implies we visit those in prison.

    • Gary

      He involved himself with sinners, the poor, the crippled, the sick, This kind of association was considered shameful by the Pharisees.

      • cookala

        Thank you, I know Jesus involved himself with the sinner, the poor, the sick, etc I didn’t know it was considered shameful by the Pharisees. Just came home now from Mass of Our Lord’s Supper, watching my Priest wash the feet of altar servers and others is so meaningful and educational.

        • Gary

          The Pharisees were hypocrites. They would never associate with sinners, the poor, etc. Now here comes Jesus, king of the Jews, who eats with them, sleeps in their homes, heals them, and preaches to them. The result: Crucifixion.

        • D Blyth

          It was offensive for the Pharisees (the name means “Set apart”) to mingle with “sinners”. Even entering into Pilate’s house would render the Jews unclean and unable to participate in their liturgy.
          The Pharisees criticised Jesus for mingling and associating with those that were not considered “holy”.

  • Jackie

    I have literally faced physical death many times throughout my life. I was 21 when I almost hemorrhaged to death after a 3 month pregnancy. From the age of 19 -30 I had 7 pregnancies ( my first daughter was stillborn early in the morning on Easter Sunday in 1962. Only 3 of those pregnancies were to full term. My second daughter, almost didn’t make it through the early months. I was having so many problems that my doctor ordered me to have a D&C, when I awoke If found out that I was pregnant. Can you imagine that the doctor decided to exam me one more time before operating. I call her my miracle baby. My third daughter was late in coming and it was in the middle of summer. My last visit at the doctor’s office was not good, he ordered me to stop whatever I was doing and to rest. That evening I had a dream and an angel appeared and told me I would be alright. I delivered her 10 days later, she weighed in at 8 lbs. 10 oz.

    I am now retired and I am Hospice volunteer. My husband died in 2012. After 51 years of marriage I found myself alone. I had married young and really have never lived alone. Fortunately, I live in an apartment above my oldest daughter’s home with her family.

    What I bring to Hospice patients is patience, I developed it through my husband. My path through life has not been an easy one. Every day I have to pick up my mat and walk. I have come to an understanding that the Hospice patients are a reflection of me. Their suffering is my suffering. I don’t have the answers for what they are going through, they alone have to find their path but I am there to listen.

  • Paul Diemert

    Fr. John Anthony Kaiser was a Catholic priest missionary in Kenya before he was murdered. His story can be read by entering his name into Google. Fr. John and I were classmates and we were corresponding before his death. He was fully aware about a contract out on his life by the government, however, he loved the people that he served and bravely faced his assassins. His story comes to the forefront when reading a post like this one. Happy Easter to all.

  • Vilma

    Wouldn’t that be great?! Amen. http://www.shepherdoffaith.com