Scripture Reflection . . .
Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
Gospel Reading for the Procession: Luke 19:28-40
First Reading: Isaiah 50: 4-7
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 22 “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11
Gospel: Luke 22:14-23:56
What is your God image? Who is God for you?
The scripture readings for Palm Sunday provide a startling contrast to a God who some might consider distant and all powerful. Today we see how God has drawn so close to us that some are unable to accept it. In St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, we hear of a God who empties himself out of love for us; “. . . taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance he humbled himself . . .” In the reading of the Passion according to Luke, Jesus tells his disciples, “I am among you as one who serves.”
This is the God I have fallen in love with, a God who though all powerful kneels before us to wash our feet; to love us with all our faults and failures; a God who shows us that only love can heal and transform. This love calls us to do the same.
The following is the scripture from the Letter to the Philippians that immediately precedes the verses read today:
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,[b] 7 but emptied himself . . .”
Jesus’ consistent message was that of love and mercy, at the expense of the ego. Not only did he talk of it, he lived it. As disciples, friends of God, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the same.
In Our Lives as Sisters of the Redeemer . . .
It is the love story of the Holy Trinity spilling over into all creation and enveloping each one of us that drew us each to religious life lived out in this particular congregation.
An international gathering of our congregation in which we drew courage from the Spirituality and Charism bestowed on us by the Holy Spirit, revealed this love. It is the love of God made visible in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection that continues to inspire us and offer hope for the world.
We believe it is in the little things we say and do each day that God’s love is made visible. We take to heart the prayer of St. Teresa of Avila; “Christ has no body now but yours; no hands, no feet but yours.”
In your Life . . .
Palm Sunday begins Holy Week and invites us into a deeper awareness and awe of the total gift of God’s love. Please don’t miss this opportunity to open your heart and mind to receiving the gift of true love.
There will be plentiful hymns, scripture readings and rituals to help relay the message and stir our emotions. But an intimate relationship requires time just to be together – time to speak, time to listen, and time for quiet presence. Being in Love’s presence is about emptying so you can be filled, so you can in turn empty yourself in love for others.
What will you do this week to consciously be in the presence of so great a love?
Blessings on your Holy Week!