Palm Sunday is upon us and thus begins Holy Week, the highest season of the liturgical year! Now EVERY Sunday is like a "Little Easter" just as EVERY Friday is like a "Little Good Friday," but it is THIS WEEK wherein all the other weeks are done in remembrance of. Remember your lenten penance, this week more than any other. If you messed up earlier, that's no excuse to just give up on your penance! THIS WEEK while you're offering up what ever it was you gave up for Lent, bring close to your heart and mind the Passion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. THAT is what the penance is all about. It's not so much that we persevered all the way through Lent, but that certainly is a meritorious goal - but moreso that we place our focus on Christ's Passion and death - afterall, it is for OUR SINS that He was hung on that Cross!
For a meditation suggestion, think about which station in the Stations of the Cross you are at in your life. Are you like the Blessed Mother, meeting Jesus on the path? Are you like Veronica, wiping His face with your cloth in an attempt to comfort Him through His Passion? Are you like Simon the Cyrene, taking upon yourself the Cross to share the burden, even if only for a short time? Or, are you like those gathered at the foot of the Cross, observing as He is giving up His last breaths?
Now consider this... when the Jews stood before Pilate and exclaimed, "His blood be upon us and upon our children!" This is not something you can pass off in anti-Semitism! No! If you have EVER sinned, and we ALL HAVE, then it is upon US whom His blood is upon! It is our sinfulness which stood there yelling, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" It was US who swung that cat-of-nine-tails 39 times, ripping the flesh from His back! It was US through OUR SINS who mocked Him, struck Him and placed that crown of thorns upon His head. His blood is UPON US! So while we beg His forgiveness, keep in mind what He did for you so that YOUR sins may be forgiven!
Why did Jesus go through this? Because He loves us! He didn't HAVE to endure the pain, suffering and humiliation of the crucifixion - no, at ANY GIVEN MOMENT He could have summoned legions of angels to put aside the Roman guards and free Him, and with just a single command! However, had He done that, the Scriptures concerning Him would not have been fulfilled and our salvation would not have been realized. Only the PERFECT SACRIFICE of this SPOTLESS LAMB would appease the wrath of Almighty God, which is rightfully OURS TO RECEIVE! But again, He loves us SO MUCH that He willingly and freely gave Himself up so that we might be counted righteous in the eye of the Father.
So, as Lent draws to a close I urge you to meditate upon Christ's Passion and Death - again, for it was not only FOR YOU - but it was BECAUSE OF YOU! Go that Way of the Cross with Him; visualize yourself on that path and figure out where, in your life, you are and which station you can relate to the most. Then after that realization - THEN visit the empty tomb on Easter morning!
Today we welcome the King of Kings into the Jerusalem of our hearts! We sing hosannas to the Lord God Almighty, who makes His entrance in humility (much like His birth) riding on the back of a donkey. Yet we all come out for Him! We gather our palm branches and spread them before Him - singing praises to His Holy Name! We love and adore Him - but in just a few days the meditation on our hosannas will turn to heckles and abuse - and again, it is WE, OURSELVES who put Him through this week of Passion.
Godspeed to all who read this, and feel free to add comments.
HOSANNA TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST!