WSC Reflection April 10, 2022

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion (Cycle C, Year II)
Community Word: Jesus’ sacrificial love is our redemption and the way to a renewed life.
Theme: We are redeemed towards a new life when we are humble and obedient to God’s will.
Promise: “The Lord God is my help…I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.” (Is 50:7)

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Holy Week of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. It celebrates the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem as Savior and King. He was greeted by the people who treated him like royalty with palm branches and cloaks strewn along His pathway, as they shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mt 21:9). But despite being the Son of God, he “did not regard equality with God” (Phil 2:6b), not as royalty, but a humble king of peace in God’s kingdom to capture the hearts of people to be His followers. He rode a donkey entering Jerusalem to show that while He is the Lord of lords, He is the humble Servant King. He is the Messiah who would be tortured and put to death in a matter of days. He is the Savior of mankind who would sacrifice His life and be resurrected on the third day.
But none of these would have occurred if Jesus was not humble and obedient to His Father’s will. In St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he witnesses, “Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God…emptied himself coming in human likeness; he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil 2:6-8). The gospel being read on Palm Sunday is already about the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. While it is a joyful celebration, we know that the purpose of His entry into Jerusalem was to fulfill His mission of dying on the cross to save mankind from sin and death.
Palm Sunday reminds us to welcome Jesus who, throughout His ministry, taught us the way to the Father. He points to Himself as the Way, the Truth and the Life. As we enter Holy Week, we are called to open our hearts to the Lord and be willing to follow Him in His passion, death and resurrection. Our commitment to follow Jesus is rooted in staying connected to Him. The palms we wave symbolize our connection to Jesus. We put to mind what Jesus tells us – “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into the fire and they will burn.” (Jn 15:5-6).
As we set our mood for Holy Week, let us accompany the Lord in His sacrificial journey. On Maundy Thursday, the Sacrament of Holy Communion was institutionalized as we commemorate the last supper of Jesus with His apostles where bread and wine were transubstantiated into His body and blood, when He said: “This is my body,” (Lk 22:19a). This commemoration is part of the Liturgy of the Eucharist when we receive Jesus in Holy Communion. Jesus also instituted the Holy Order and established priesthood starting with the apostles as He told them: “do this in memory of me,” (Lk 22:19b). On the same occasion, Jesus demonstrated humility and service by washing the feet of His apostles. Through His example, He is urging us to serve one another in selfless love.
Good Friday, the most solemn day of the Holy Week, is a day of sacrifice, penance and fasting. We commemorate the suffering, crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ as we humble our hearts in atonement of our sins. On this day, we recall how Jesus was focused on His mission to save us when he uttered these words: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do,” (Lk 23:34) and promised us our eternal destiny: “Amen, today you will be with me in Paradise,” (Lk 23:43).
Because of His obedience, God exalted Jesus and bestowed on Him the name above every name (cf Phil 2:9-11). As we receive new life in Christ by our humble obedience to God’s will, we will be saved from all condemnation and be exalted with our Lord Jesus. We draw strength and inspiration from this promise: “The Lord God is my help…I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.” (Is 50:7).

Lord God, thank you for Your great love and endless mercy. Thank you Jesus for giving us new life by Your death on the cross. We are sorry for causing so much pain and suffering because of our sins. We pray for strength as we take up our cross to follow You. Grant us the grace to abide and remain in You always. Guide us so that we can stay humble and obedient to Your will. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen

Reflection Questions:

  1. How can you make the observance of Holy Week more meaningful?
  2. In what way can you remain connected to God as you reflect on the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
April 10, 2022 (Sun) – Is 50:4-7/ Ps 22:8,9,17-20,23,24/ Phil 2:6-11/ Lk 22:14-23:56 or Lk 23:1-49
April 11, 2022 (Mon) – Is 42:1-7/ Ps 27:1-3, 13-14/ Jn 12:1-11
April 12, 2022 (Tue) – Is 49:1-6/ Ps 1-6, 15, 17/ Jn 13:21-33, 36-38
April 13, 2022 (Wed) – Is 50:4-9/ Ps 69:8-10, 21, 22, 31, 33, 34/ Mt 26:14-25
April 14, 2022 (Thu) – Is 61:1-3, 6, 8, 9/ Ps 89:21, 22, 25, 27 /Rv 1:5-8/ Lk 4:16-21
April 15, 2022 (Fri) – Is 52:13-53:12/ Ps 31:2,6,12,13,15-17,25/ Heb 4:14-16;5:7-9/ Jn 18:19:42
April 16, 2022 (Sat) – Gn 1:1-2:2/Gn 22:1-18/Ex 14:15-15:1/Is 55:1-11/Bar 3:9-15, 32-4:4/ Ez 36:16-28/Ps 118:1, 2, 15, 17, 22, 23/Rom 6:3-11/Lk 24:1-12

“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”


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