Reflections - March 20, 2016

Christ in spite of His divine condition did not boast of his condition of God…..and thus acting as a regular man, “He humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.  Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name…..and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”  Phil. 2:6-11.
 
This Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week, I would like to reflect with you on this text from Philippians 2.  It is an invitation to reflect on the Paschal Mystery of the death and resurrection of the Lord.
 
There are two lessons for this Palm Sunday.
 
The first is the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem along with the pilgrims.  He did not enter on a carriage, but mounted on a donkey, a symbol of humility, (Who, 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…Phil. 2:7), and the humble people discover in His simplicity of life His messianic condition and receive Him with palms just like we do today.
 
In the second lesson the Church narrates the Passion of Christ to give to those who suffer with Christ a word of encouragement and hope.
 
It would be very sad that we would just take away with us the Blessed Palm this Sunday to save it as something “magical” and not as what it represents:  that Christ died on the throne of the cross for our sins and triumphed as King and Lord, “to the glory of God the Father”. Phil. 2:11.
 
Holy Thursday.  “Jesus loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end”.  Jn. 13:1.  That night Jesus established two sacrament. The first is the sacrament of Communion for the life of the world.  “He took the bread, gave it to them, saying, This is my body….do this in memory of me.” Lk. 22:19.  It is the food that strengthens us spiritually to carry the cross every day with hope.
 
He also left us with the priesthood, the Sacrament of the new family of God, which is to surrender to your neighbor for the love of Christ.  The prophet Isaiah says:  “All who see them shall acknowledge them as a race the Lord has blessed”.  Is. 61:9.  It is the spiritual force that the servant of Christ receives to “make preferential options for the poor and oppressed by sin and lead them to Christ”.
 
Good Friday.  “It is finished.”  Jn. 19:30.  They do not take away the life Jesus.  He gives His life for love and for the forgiveness of our sins.  Let us hope that upon our death we can say:  “It is finished”.  Lord, Let us try to do Your Will by dying to sin and serving others.
 
Easter Vigil.  This is the night that “God greatly exulted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name….”.  Phil. 2:9.  “The Lord is the light that shines for always.  He is the indestructible life that comes to us as well”.  Pope Benedict XVI.