Category Archives: Palm Sunday

Fickle Sunday

Holy Week begins with “Hosannas” on Sunday and ends with “Crucify Hims” on Friday.

What fickleness!  What fecklessness!

We are all like this when it comes to following Jesus.  We try to avoid sin, ask forgiveness when we do sin, and accept grace.  However, we vacillate between wanting Him and rejecting Him.  We can’t make up our minds whether we hold Him in regard or if we are going to sin regardless of the consequences to our relationship to Him and the state of our immortal souls.

Then, there’s the whole focus on the Cross this week.  We hate to be reminded that Jesus tells us that we must pick up our cross and follow Him.  Jesus didn’t just pick up His cross though.  He embraced it.  He kissed it.

And what do we do when God sends us a little bit of suffering.  ( I truly believe that there is no comparison with our sufferings and the brutality of being crucified; not even mentioning the cruelty of the scourging and crowning with thorns.)  We whine and ask Him to take our suffering away as quickly as possible.   Holy Week should remind us that we all are going to have our crosses to bear.  How do we accept them?  Do we embrace our suffering with all the love for Christ that we can because we know that Easter Sunday always follows Good Friday?

I leave you with a wonderful quote from the Cure de Ars, St. John Vianney.  I plan on using this all week long to remind me of what the the Christian life is really all about.

“There is no doubt about it: a person who loves pleasure, who seeks comfort, who flies from anything that might spell suffering, who is over-anxious, who complains, who blames, and who becomes impatient at the least little thing which does not go his way–a person like that is a Christian only in name; he is only a dishonour to his religion, for Jesus Christ has said so: Anyone who wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross every day of his life, and follow me.” ~St. John Vianney

 

 

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Desolation

During any reading of the Passion, there are two things that touch my heart.  Yesterday, was no different.

First, I always cringe when we are “the Crowd” and I have to read the part that says “Crucify Him.”  Second, I am always struck by the utter desolation that is in the cry of Jesus.  “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”

About the first:  my sins crucified my Lord.  And that is part of the reason that I cringe.  I might not have been there, on the scene, but I was there.  When His arms were stretched out, He saw me and He saw every sin I would ever commit.  Yes, He died for me. Personally.

About the second:  Life is a spiritual roller coaster.  We are either in a period of Consolation or in a period of Desolation or somewhere in between at any given point of our lives.  The periods of Consolation are awesome and a time of great spiritual joy.  The periods of Desolation are dry and sterile.  Sometimes when I am there, I don’t think I will ever experience great spiritual joy again.  Then I remember Jesus on the Cross.  “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”  And, that gives me strength to begin the ascent again, up the hill of the roller coaster, to a period of Consolation.

I am going to be making my weekend Ignatius Retreat: Consoling the Heart of Jesus beginning on Thursday evening.  & I will not be back on here again until Easter Monday.

I hope this Holy Week is a time of great consolation to you.  That’s my plan for me.

 

 

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The Race to the Empty Tomb Begins

“Mary brought a pound of costly perfume made from genuine, aromatic nard, with which she anointed Jesus’ feet.  Then she dried His feet with her hair, and the house was filled with the ointment’s fragrance.”–John 12: 3

I love this passage from John.  It makes me think.  “Am I willing to give everything I have and everything I am to Jesus without counting the cost?”  Good question to think about during Holy Week.

Now to the second last section of the Sermon on the Mount.

Ask, Seek, Knock

(Matthew 7: 7-12)

7: 7  Ask. . .given you:  Jesus advocates perseverance in prayer.  Answered prayers stem from faith-filled intentions.  (CCC 2609)

CCC 2609 “Once committed to conversion, the heart learns to pray in faith. . .the beloved Son gives us access to the Father. . .He can tell us to “seek” and to “knock” since He Himself is the door and the way.”

7: 11 you then, who are evil:  Jesus indicates the pervasive sinfulness of man.  good things: the material necessities of life as well as the grace to live as God’s children.

7: 12 do so to them:  Jesus states the Golden Rule positively. (CCC 1970)

CCC 1970 the entire Law of the Gospel is contained in the ‘ new commandment’ of Jesus, to love one another as He has loved us.”

The Narrow Gate

(Matthew 7: 13-14)

Cities surrounded by a fortified wall had both wide and narrow gates for access.  Main, wide gates were big enough for whole caravans to pass through.  Small, narrow gates permitted only pedestrians.  Jesus is telling us that many will pass through this “easy” gate to “destruction.”  The “few” must exert some effort to make it to “life.”

False Prophets

(Matthew 7: 15-20)

These so-called prophets appear harmless, yet their ministry breeds error, division, and immorality.  (2 Peter 2: 1-3)

2 Peter 2: 1-3 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.  And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled.  And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; from of old their condemnation has not bee idle and their destruction has not been asleep.”

Jesus Enters Jerusalem

Jesus Enters Jerusalem

Wednesday:  Matthew 7:  21-29

Study Question:  In Catholic Tradition, what is sanctifying grace?

Meditation:  Am I ready to carry my small sharing in the Cross of Jesus?

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Filed under Almsgiving, Catholic, Christian, Fasting, Lent, Palm Sunday, Prayer, Sacrifice, The Cross, Triduum

“Judge not, that you be not Judged.” Matthew 7:1

Today is the last Friday of the 40 days of Lent.  Are you preparing yourself for the holiest week of the year?  I suggest that everyone spend an hour this coming week in front of the Blessed Sacrament in preparation for the Triduum.  What a wonderful heavenly climate to realize that Jesus is God.  As you “fix your eyes” on the eucharistic Jesus (Heb. 3: 1) let Him fill you with “eucharistic amazement.”  (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, Pope John Paul II, 6.  Let’s make Holy Week a priority!

Judging Others

Matthew 7: 1-6

Jesus’ teaching on judgment has two sides.  1) He condemns judging others’ faults.  (7: 1-2)  We can’t judge others with fairness and accuracy because we can’t see another’s heart like God can.  He alone know the heart.  2) However, Jesus commands us to exercise critical discernment (7: 6, 15-19.)  Otherwise, we might profane what is holy (7: 6) or embrace what is false. (7:15)

7:2  you will be judged:  We set the standards of our personal judgment (by God) by our own conduct toward others.  (cf 18:35)

7: 6 dogs. . .swine:  The Jews would call pagans, dogs and swine.  Jesus uses these insulting labels to describe anyone who is inhospitable to the Gospel–both Jew and Gentile.  what is holy: In Judaism, holiness characterizes anything consecrated for covenant worship.  To treat holy things, then, in a common manner would profane them.  (Ex 29: 37; Lev 22: 10-17)  Jesus is applying this notion in the New Covenant.  The Early Church used this statement to rightly withhold the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist from the unbaptized.

Next time:  Chapter 7:  7-20

Study Question:  The Gospel for Palm (Passion) Sunday:  Luke 22: 14-23:56)

Meditation:  In heaven, the saints stand “before the throne and the Lamb, dressed in long white robes and holding palm branches in their hand.”  (Rev. 7:9)  Some Palm Sundays last forever.  Yours can as well.—One Bread One Body for Sunday, March 24, 2013.

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