Scriptures of the Day
Isaiah 50: 4 – 7
Philippians 2; 6 – 11
Luke 22: 14 – 23:56
This Sunday begins the most solemn, most holy of weeks, of the entire Church Year – HOLY WEEK.
Beginning with Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday, we are invited to journey with Jesus as he gloriously enters Jerusalem, on to the beauty and tragedy of Holy Thursday, then to the ungodly horror of Good Friday. Holy Saturday is a pivotal day. We find ourselves drained by the events of Holy Thursday, and Good Friday, and somewhat relieved that the intensity of these two days is over. Yet as Saturday unfolds we begin to notice a glimmer of hope. Hope in the mystery that we are about to experience and celebrate – the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ !
This week-its events, the tragedy, the suffering, the death of Jesus, his love and forgiveness for us through it all, and His glorious Resurrection, evoke one major response from us. FAITH !
Faith in Life! Faith in our God who brings good out of everything! Faith in our Savior, who showed us how to be faithful to the will of the Father! Faith that the God who loves us will raise us up from death, and bring us to live with Him forever!
The Gospel of Palm Sunday rapidly relates all of the above events in the narration of the Passion of Jesus Christ from Luke. The quick reporting of the events, as well as the length of the Gospel, make it difficult to reflect and meditate on the significance of Jesus’ suffering and death. However, the Second reading for Palm Sunday’s Liturgy, from Paul to the Philippians, has embedded within it a real gem for us to contemplate during Holy Week
These are the words from Paul to the Philippians, ( most likely a poem in the original Greek, which may even have been sung by the early Christian Community during liturgy) .
“God highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name above every name,
that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bend . . , and every tongue confess,
that Jesus Christ is Lord – to the glory of God the Father”
Perhaps we can ritualize these words during the week by displaying a cross in a prominent place in our homes. Each time we pass by the cross, we can pause for a moment and softly pray, “JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!”. We may want to gently touch or kiss the cross as well.
Invite your family and friends to consider this practice during Holy Week, along with you.
Let us join one another in prayer that we be blessed with the peace and excitement of Palm Sunday,
. . . with the courage to be faithful during all the Good Fridays of our life,
. . . and that Easter Sunday gifts us with hope and joy in knowing that HE LIVES,
and that He promises to raise us up, to be, and to live with Him, forever. Amen.
by Sr. Gerrie Contento, M.P.F.