In the hope that you will enter more fully into the Mass
MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU ABANDONED ME?
begins the climax of our liturgical year as we walk with Jesus on his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, then to his last supper with his friends, his arrest and crucifixion and his glorious resurrection on Easter Sunday
. This Sunday
, we begin our liturgy with the Gospel at the Procession (Mark 11:1-10)
as we process into the Church with voices joyously proclaiming "Hosanna to the Son of David", just as they did that Palm Sunday
two thousand years ago. This is a different kind of King, coming in peace, "humbly riding on the back of a donkey." (Zachariah 9:9)
When Jesus and his disciples drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately on entering it, you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone should say to you, 'Why are you doing this?' reply, 'The Master has need of it and will send it back here at once.'" So they went off and found a colt tethered at a gate outside on the street, and they untied it. Some of the bystanders said to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?" They answered them just as Jesus had told them to, and they permitted them to do it. So they brought the colt to Jesus and put their cloaks over it. And he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. Those preceding him as well as those following kept crying out: "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest!"
As we continue the Mass with our first reading (Isaiah 50:4-7)
, we recall Isaiah's prophesy of the suffering servant, persecuted for his righteousness and yet he does not flinch. This prophesy, written around the late 6th century B.C., is said to clearly prefigure Christ.
The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
Our Epistle reading (Philippians 2:6-11)
continues to emphasize the humility of Jesus, taking on the human form to unite with us, bear our suffering and atone for our sins, once, for all.
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.
Our Gospel reading is the Passion of Our Lord according to Mark (14:1 - 15:47)
. In Mark's account, the cross is depicted as Jesus' way to glory in accordance with the divine will. Thus the passion narrative is seen as the climax of Jesus' ministry.
The Gospel reading is too lengthily to present here, but please, click HERE
to read and reflect on the Gospel account of the Passion of Our Lord.
May we not pass by this opportunity to reflect deeply on this mystery of God's salvation gift to us, his beloved children. Also, it would be good to reflect on Jesus' intense suffering so that we may be united with the Father as he is united with the Father.. May we emulate the humility, the obedience and the love of Jesus.
Click HERE to read, reflect and pray on the full readings for Sunday, March 25, 2018