Today, with Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, we begin the holiest week of the liturgical year. On this Sunday we hear the story of the last hours of Jesus. We walk with him step by step as he trudges the road to Calvary, is stripped of his garments, cruelly nailed to a cross, and lifted high before the crowd, only to be mocked by the crowds standing below. His last words, “It is finished,” are uttered and we see his head drop upon his breast for the last time.
What does this mean, this good, kind, loving man, dying such a horrible death, for no crime at all? What does it mean and what is it for?
What is means is that God loves us so much that he will withhold absolutely nothing from us; not even his only Son. What is means is that no matter what, God will always be there for us, with all his love and power; comfort and grace. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. God did not send the Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it!” What incredible love!
There are no limits to God’s commitment to us. That is precisely what our heavenly Father is saying to us through this act on the part of his Son. “I would rather die than stop loving you.”
This week we are being called to reflect more fully on this act of love that changed the course of human history. We are being invited to journey again with Jesus from the Upper Room in Jerusalem where he gave us the example of the importance of serving others, the gift of the Eucharist to perpetuate his presence among us till the end of time, to pray with him in the Garden, to walk with him to the Cross, and to stand outside the empty tomb and rejoice that death did not have the final word. Life is victorious!
I ask that you please put aside your activities this week and join us for the liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. These three days are the highpoint of our liturgical year as we celebrate the depths of the Paschal Mystery. Also, if you know someone who has been away from the practice of their faith, do extend them an invitation to join you and us for Easter Mass.
May this Holy Week be a very blessed time for our parish community as we celebrate the height and depth of God’s love for each one of us.
- Father Dennis, April 9, 2017