Today we celebrate Palm (or Passion) Sunday, marking the beginning of Holy Week; the pinnacle of our faith. Mass was very moving to me today. I shed more than a few tears. Even Honey Bunches said on the way home, "I loved Mass."
"So they brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks over the colt, and helped Jesus to mount.
As he rode along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road; and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of his disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen. They proclaimed: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.” Luke 19:28-40
As Father explained, a man held in high esteem would have ridden a war horse, dressed in armor or expensive clothes, wielding a sword. Yet Jesus, the Son of God, rode into Jerusalem on a farm animal, unarmed, in complete humility and simplicity.
We then listened to the Gospel of Luke and the retelling of the Passion. I have heard this story since I was a small child. I have read it myself countless times and still, there is a piece of me that hopes that the story will have a different outcome. That somehow, Jesus will not have to endure the pain and suffering. That somehow, the people will see Jesus for who He truly is. That somehow, Jesus will save us and the whole world without having to hang on that cross. But the story never changes.Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,did not regard equality with Godsomething to be grasped.Rather, he emptied himself,taking the form of a slave,coming in human likeness;and found human in appearance,he humbled himself,becoming obedient to the point of death,even death on a cross.Because of this, God greatly exalted himand bestowed on him the namewhich is above every name,that at the name of Jesusevery knee should bend,of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,and every tongue confess thatJesus Christ is Lord,to the glory of God the Father.
Father shared such beautiful words of wisdom in his homily. He said that we experience the passion in our lives everyday. Everyday we die and we rise with Christ. Some of us have small crosses to carry, while others have heavier crosses to bear. But whatever journey we walk with Christ, it is important to realize that it is Christ who journeys with us. Not the other way around.
Mass concluded with the symbol of Holy Thursday, a basin and pitcher, brought forward and placed at the foot of the altar. We left in silence with the piano playing "Were You There."
This week, a week like no other in our calendar year, is meant to change us. We are called to be present and to be active participants in the suffering, death and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We come out changed people; more loving, more compassionate, more actively serving Christ through our service to others. We, the Body of Christ, pay homage to our King and give glory to God our Father.