agony2Catholics seem preoccupied with the sufferings of Christ—the Crucifix, the sorrowful Mysteries, the Stations of the Cross.  As if all this were not enough, Catholics must stand at attention one Sunday each year as they listen to the entire passion narrative read aloud.

Careful, repeated meditation on the Passion of Christ is important because the Passion is the climax of the entire history of Revelation and Redemption.  It the ultimate Revelation of two intertwined realities: human sin and divine love.

He saw their torches coming in the valley as he prayed on the hillside in the Garden.  He could have walked over the mountain and disappeared without a trace in the Judean wilderness.  Or he could have used his divine power at any moment to scatter the Temple Guard and the Romans.  Till the very end, he could have come down from that cross, as the crowd taunted him to do.

But that’s just it.  He had to love till the very end (John 13:1).  Love to the max.  The fullness of love in a human heart means a love that was absolutely unstoppable by anything that hell and crucifixionfallen humanity could hurl against it.  And no love, no commitment is total unless it entails the supreme sacrifice of one’s life.

It was for our freedom that he died; let’s not again willingly submit ourselves to the bondage of sin.


 

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Palm Sunday

palm sundayCrowd, celebration, praise, blessing, peace: it is a climate of joy that is being experienced.  Jesus has reawakened many hopes of the heart, above all in the humble people, the simple, poor, forgotten, those who do not count in the eyes of the world.  He understood human misery, he manifested the face of God’s mercy and deigned to heal the body and soul.  This is Jesus.  This is his heart that looks upon all of us, that looks upon all of our afflictions, our sins.  Jesus’ love is great.  And so he enters into Jerusalem with this love, and looks upon all of us.  It is a beautiful scene: full of light—the light of Jesus’ love, the light of his heart—of joy, of celebrating.  (Pope Francis, Palm Sunday Homily, 2013)