Moved to Greater Love
Moved to Greater Love

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion, April 13

Today’s Grace

I pray for the grace to feel sorrow and compassion, so that I may be united with the Lord Jesus in his Passion.

Scripture/Reading

Reading via the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website:

Phil 2:6-11
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.

Mt 26:14-27:66
The Passion of Our Lord according to Matthew: www.usccb.org/bible/readings/041314.cfm

Reflection Questions

  1. Be present at the Passion of Jesus and notice the events and actors. Who do you identify with? The vengeful leaders, the jeering crowds, the cunning Pilate? The fearful disciples, the denying Peter, the hopeless Judas? The privileged Simon of Cyrene, the faithful women who accompanied Jesus to the foot of the cross, the crucified criminals? What particular point or event resonates with you — stay there and contemplate the mystery of Christ’s Passion that culminates in the cross.
  2. The reading from Philippians, often called the “Christological Hymn,” is profoundly poignant with the self-emptying “kenosis” of Christ on the cross — “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.” How am I moved and humbled at the sight of the Lord on the cross, emptying himself out of love for me?

Reflection

The Cross Opens the Way to Life from “Journeying with the Lord: Reflections for Everyday” by Cardinal Carlos Maria Martini, SJ:

The cross is ever before us. It wants to speak to us, if only we contemplate it with love, drawn by the power of the Spirit who is the gift of Christ crucified. If we look upon it with awe and affection, the cross becomes an enticing, warm and all-consuming fire: it gives us a challenge.

It asks us many things. The cross asks us, our communities, our societies and our cultures to confirm that there do exist paths from the cross to resolve human problems.

Our experience reveals that pain, suffering and death fill our history.

Jesus did not invent the cross. He, like every man, found it on his journey. The newness of his message was to plant a seed of love into our bearing of the cross. The element of love turned the Way of the Cross into a way that leads to life. The cross itself became a message of love; a means of our transformation. Our cross is also the cross of Jesus!

This cross first embraces each of us, and entrusts us with a duty in our personal life, in our families, among our friends and acquaintances — in sum, with whoever else’s cross we encounter. I think of the many broken families, the many illnesses which have not been accepted, of hardened hearts which have become embittered, resentful and brooding. How many crosses have been borne up and down in the elevators of our buildings. How many cross-bearers walk up and down our streets, populate our cities!

From his cross, Jesus invites each of us today to put all these crosses, and not just our own, into relationship with our own. Jesus invites us to do as he did — plant the seed of love and hope in the soil of each of the crosses we encounter.

Other Resources

View the daily readings at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website.





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