Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
                                                                                    March 24, 2024

                                                                                                                   Fr. Josť Maria de Sousa Alvim Calado Cortes, F.S.C.B.
                                                                                                                                                                      Pastor of the Church of St. Peter
                                                                                                                                                                           North St. Paul, Minnesota

Sunday Reading Meditations

Jesus' patient suffering is the consummate example of extreme humility.

Jesus' glorious humility was evident as he entered Jerusalem, riding an ass: "Six days before the Passover, when the Lord came into the city of Jerusalem, the children ran to meet him; in their hands they carried palm branches and with a loud voice cried out: Hosanna in the highest?  Blessed are you, who have come in your abundant mercy!"  (Entrance Antiphon).  The simplicity and purity of the children's hearts allowed them to prophesy what was about to happen, according to God's plan.  Humility has to do with the perception of the fulfillment of God's plan.  We need to enter Holy Week with simple hearts in order to understand the salvific mysteries.

In today's second reading, St. Paul helps us to understand the nature of Jesus' humility: "(...) though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.  Rather, he emptied himself (...) coming in human likeness; and fund human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Phil 2:8).  Jesus' incarnation and submission to the cross are the world's greatest lessons in humility.

Pride prevents us from seeing the immense sign of love in the passion of Our Lord.  Holy Week is the time to empty ourselves and let Christ dwell within us, allow the mystery of the cross to conquer our pride and offer our hearts in humility.

We must accept dying with Jesus in order to pass from death to life with him.

"His death has washed away our sins" (Preface).  He has died for us and has forgiven us, no mater what we have done.  Can we live a Christian life without repentance?  Can we celebrate Easter without first repenting our sins and going to confession?  Can we be unmoved by God's infinite love for us.  He gave his life for us that we might live.  His blood cleanses us from all our sins and delivers us from all evil.

In an act of infinite love and mercy, Jesus accepted the bitter chalice and fulfilled God's will: "Father, if this chalice cannot pass without my dinking it, your will be done" (Mt 26:42).

May the Lord transform our hearts and increase our humility during this Holy Week.  Like the children of Jerusalem, may we recognize the glory of Jesus' cross.  May we learn from his patient suffering and thus merit participation in his resurrection.  May the Lord resurrect our hearts.  Amen.