These are the words that popped in my mind as I reflect upon the readings and the gospel for the Palm Sunday yesterday.
I asked myself; Why? At first glance, it does not connect and jive to the thought and the message that I got in reflecting upon the yesterday’s readings and gospel. What does this motto of Pope Francis would like to express in me as the Holy Week begins? What is the connection of it to Jesus’ passion, suffering, and resurrection?
As I link up the readings and the gospel for the Palm Sunday yesterday, it tells about Jesus’ obedience to the will of His Father and his passion and suffering which presented into something significant and salvific for us believers and followers of Christ. He conspired by the chief priests, his own disciples betrayed him, his witnesses’ testimonies were flawed, the trial was politicized and unjust, yet because of intense love and mercy for us sinners he accepted all these though he was innocent to all the false allegations and accusations against him.
Hence, great and unconditional is the mercy and love of the Lord for all of us, and St. Paul testifies it in his Letter to the Philippians which he said; “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.” (Phil 2: 6-9). He humbled himself- a phrase that is very striking and touching indeed as I let it speaks into my life.
He is God, but He humbled himself for the sake of loving me and us completely and unreservedly. How about me? Connecting Pope Francis words MISERANDO ATQUE ELIGENDO to Jesus’ passion, suffering, and death; one thing that I realized is Love that connects the two moving instances. The words of Pope Francis are the challenge of the Palm Sunday for me as I am now coming across to the ambiance and spirit of the Holy Week. Because of God’s mercy and compassion which He fulfilled on the cross, He pitied me and has chosen me to radiate His love for all especially those who are seeking for it.
As I reflect upon it, it’s a tough invitation coming from the Lord. It takes a lot of faith and self-emptying. But, this love is all about. If God sacrificed Himself for the sake of love, how about me who is just a tiny unique organism and sinner in front of the immensity of His mercy and compassion. Thus, Holy Week is moments for me to revitalize, refresh, and renew my commitment to God as His disciple. Indeed, the cross really disturbs me.
As I begin my Holy Week pilgrimage in silence, reparation, reconciliation, and contemplation may the Lord help me to abide in His love. May He also guide my thoughts, words, and actions through his care and kindness.