PALM SUNDAY


MASS READINGS

A reading from St Paul to the Philippians:

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,

did not regard equality with God

something 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 him

and bestowed on him the name

which is above every name,

that at the name of Jesus

every knee should bend,

of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue confess that

Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.(Phil 2:6-11)

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REFLECTION He humbled himself,

becoming obedient to the point of death,

A few years ago, my family had the opportunity to do the original Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem. If you are able and given the chance, it is an experience that I would strongly recommend. We were taken through the streets of the Old City where Our Lord had walked on His way to Calvary; there was no imagining the path, I was standing on it.

For the first time, I realized an element I had overlooked in the Gospel, that Our Lord was not just trialed and then killed, He was dragged through street markets in the middle of town, shamed and reviled. This would have been long and drawn out because of the distance to Golgotha, the weight of the cross and His fatigue from the imprisonment and trial the night before.

He would have passed by those who love him; His Mother, the Women of Jerusalem and possibly the Apostles, but the majority of those He would have passed would be sellers, shoppers, every day people going about their ordinary business without a second thought to the bloodied man they have labelled a criminal who was passing through. Or if they had noticed, it would be out of curiosity, disdain or condemnation also.

I asked myself if I were present on that day who would I be? The indifferent shopper? The accusing crowd? Would I have the courage of the women of Jerusalem who dared to stand apart from the crowd and mourn His Passion and followed His footsteps to the Cross?

And then I realized something: I was there that day.

Our Lord thought of me on His Way of the Cross, and because God had thought of me that day, I have always been in the Passion story on that historical day.

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