Today, we honor Jesus, our creator and our Redeemer, in his entry to Jerusalem, as he prepares for his death for our benefit.
We honor a king, who could have had a journey to riches and fame, but chose to be crowned with thorns. He could have had a life of comfort, but he chose to be united with us in our suffering.
Jesus could have had anything He wanted in life, and He chose us.
It is the opposite of what we would expect from a king, who rides not on a chariot, but on a donkey, and who is honored with Palms a symbol of peace.
Jesus was not a revolutionary; he was not one to try to stir up the people to violence and rebellion; Jesus healed. He brought people out of the depth of despair, and gave them hope. He humbly walks down the path of peace. He stood silently in front of Pontius Pilate. He shows us how to live. Jesus shows us that we can be peaceful in the face of hatred.
Today begins Holy Week. A week when we set aside time, to participate and experience the death and resurrection of Jesus.
On Monday is the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral at which Archbishop Lori will consecrate the oils to be used in the church. The priests renew their commitment to their ministries and to the priesthood.
On Holy Thursday, we will re-live Jesus’ washing the feet of the Apostles. At the Holy Thursday mass, the priest washes the feet of our parishioners. On Holy Thursday, Jesus was not just washing feet, He was showing us a new way to love by serving others. It is at the heart of Christianity- to love beyond ourselves, and to look toward the other. Love means not just saying “I love you,” but actually doing something to show love, because our actions reveal our heart. They reveal what we think in our hearts. The Gospel says that Jesus loved his Apostles, and loved them to the end. The Eucharist is a gift of God’s love. A gift of Himself. We celebrate the Eucharist on Holy Thursday.
On Good Friday, we listen to the Word of God, offer our solemn intercessions for the Church in general, and venerate the cross. It is a personal time in which we come forward to show a sign of personal reverence to the Lord.
Through the Gospel today, and the reading of the passion, we come to better understand what being a Christian means, and why we have been the gift of life. What we hear today is about God, who was willingly come to Earth to serve us, and to die for us, and to give us eternal life.
We will come to experience that Jesus has suffered in every way that we do.
This week we can follow Jesus journey to consecrating the bread and wine to become his living body and blood, a gift of his very self, so that we may find the spiritual strength to carry out what God asks us to do. It takes courage to forgive; it takes courage to set aside anger, and hatred. It takes courage to seek revenge when someone offends you.
We should try to set aside the week to enter into the passion of Jesus.
Remember the only reason that Jesus came to earth was for us, for our sake- to show us how to live, and to win for us eternal life. We can try this week to examine our own goals in life, and to try to look our own journey.