Palm Sunday begins the last week of Jesus’ life. We recall the dramatic events that led him from the resounding praise of joyous “Hosannas” to the morbid shouts of “crucify him,” “crucify him,” from palms to thorns, from exaltation to execution, from horrible death to glorious life and resurrection.
As on Good Friday we read the Passion and remember the last days of Jesus and the tremendous love in his heart for each of us. This love drove him to go on, giving him the energy to carry his cross, to push himself up again and again in agony to gasp another breath as he hung for hours on the cross before dying and washing away your sins and mine.
We remember the piercing words Jesus prayed during his agony in the garden and on the cross and how those words apply to us today. We remember Judas and his betrayal and recall each our own betrayals. We remember Jesus at the Last Supper, telling us to eat the bread of his body, and to drink the wine of his blood to be shed for each of us and how we too often approach the real presence of Jesus in holy communion in a casual and distracted way. We remember Peter boasting, “I will never betray you,” and moments later brusquely admitting, “I don’t even know the man.” How loyal am I?
We hear Jesus’ soulful cry from the cross, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” The passion, death, and rising of Jesus never really ends. It is the Paschal Mystery repeated day after day in the rhythm of the church’s liturgical life, in numberless Masses celebrated daily throughout the world, and especially as lived out daily by numberless faithful Catholics everywhere.
Where do I see myself in the characters and events of the Passion?
Let us pray:
Almighty, ever-living God,
who as an example of humility for the human race,
caused our Savior to become human and submit to the cross,
graciously grant that we may heed his lesson of patient suffering
and so merit a share in his resurrection. Amen.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)