I wasn’t able to put together posts for Holy Week until now. These posts are a bit after the fact, but I hope you enjoy them and find them helpful!
When I was a kid, I used to watch a lot of sports. I watched the Red Sox, I watched the Celtics, I watched the Patriots, and I watched a lot of Boston College football, too. And what usually happened was that I would watch a game for a while, and then I would get so inspired myself, that I had to go outside and start playing myself. I had to go and catch groundballs like Rick Burleson, I had to pitch just like Roger Clemens. I had to take shots on the hoop and pass like Larry Bird. I had to throw the football just like Doug Flutie, sidearm and on the scramble. The reason I played so much sports, and the reason I got good at them, was because I was always inspired.
I watched the best, and I caught their spirit.
A few years ago, down here in Ecuador, I was invited to play soccer. OK, I said. So I got out there, and, well, I have a good sense for team play and how to move without the ball, get into positions, there’s a lot of similarities. Great. But then the ball came to me, and I don’t know exactly what happened, only that I tried to kick in one direction, but the ball wasn’t quite where I needed it to be, and I swung and missed completely. That is what my day was like playing soccer. Near the end, the other guys were very gracious and they all tried to set me up to score my first goal. The first time, I tried to kick the ball and it went almost sideways. Finally, after the second time, I got a wide open net, wound up and gave the ball a boot right into the goal. We celebrated. The monkey was off my back. It was the first soccer goal I had scored in my life. And after we all were done and getting a drink and cooling off, I said, “Anyone wanna play basketball???”
See, I didn’t grow up watching Maradonna and Pele and Messi and all those guys. I was never running outside trying to play like a soccer hero. It took me 40 years to score a soccer goal and I was ready to hang up the shoes afterwards.
I was never inspired.
Because I never watched the best.
There is a saying here in Ecuador that you’ll hear a lot, and in a lot of other places probably in the world: life is hard. Life *is* hard. We need inspiration to live life. And for that, we need to watch the best.
When Jesus goes in the garden to pray, when he is about to begin his passion, he says something to his disciples that is meant for everyone: Watch! It’s meant for everyone, because life is hard for everyone, and everyone needs inspiration to make it through.
And this Passion time is prime-time viewing where you are going to see the best at life in action.
If you are missing a fire in your heart, a motivation to go on each day, if life is monotonous or a torture, if you feel captive or stepped-on, at a dead-end, or just bleah, if you’re ready to just give up, or to abandon something you just started, there is something just for you to give you inspiration and motivation.
The passion of Jesus.
Watch the best.
“And what I say to you I say to all: Watch!” (Mk 13:37)