Passion/Palm Sunday (March 25, 2018)

In today’s readings we experience Jesus, as the suffering servant who brings God’s love to the human family. St. Francis de Sales reminds us that we are called to be like Jesus:

The most powerful reason for Jesus’ death is to fill the human spirit with God’s love. Out of death has come life, the wondrous paradox, which the world does not understand. Jesus not only died a cruel death to bring God’s love to us, but He also suffered fear, terror, abandonment, and inner depression such as never had and never shall have an equal. He did this so that we too may persevere in pursuing divine love.

Jesus’ human feelings left his entire heart exposed to sorrow and anguish. For this reason he cries out: “My God, why have you forsaken me?” Mount Calvary is the mount of lovers. All love that does not take its origins from the Savior’s passion is foolish and perilous. On Calvary, we can not have life without love. Nor can we have divine love without dying to our false loves. Christian wisdom consists in choosing rightly. Hence we ought to consecrate every moment of our lives to the eternal divine love of Our Savior’s death. This means we need to empty ourselves of all other loves that are destroying us so that we may be filled with God’s eternal love that gives life!

So when injured by others, look often with your inward eyes on Christ Jesus, crucified, forsaken and overwhelmed, by every kind of anguish. Then think of the many people who are incomparably more afflicted than you are and say: “Are not my hardships roses in comparison with those, who without help, assistance, or relief live a continual death under the burden of afflictions infinitely greater than mine? When all things fail us, when our distress is at its height, say the final words of Jesus on the cross: “Into Your hands I commend my spirit.”

(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales.)