++ PALM SUNDAY ++
REFLECTION FOR April 9, 2023
ARE YOU OPEN?
“Morning after morning he wakens my ear as to hear as disciples do, I did not refuse, I have not turned back” Isaiah 50:4-5
This reading from Isaiah prepares us for Holy Week. It also asks us to begin to walk with Jesus on the way to the cross. Have you stood firm during Lent? Lent can be difficult and as “believers,” run to Church to get their palms today, there can be a false sense of celebration and thinking that the worst is over. As we follow Jesus into Jerusalem at the height of his popularity, we know what is coming as did He. He went anyway. He did not turn back. Will we?
During Lent we may have had our missteps. Maybe we did not get to mass every day as we hoped, or we did not live up to our “pledge” to say the rosary every day or not eat chocolate. What is important is the effort made and not losing sight of why we were doing it– to grow in holiness and become more like Christ and developing our own personal relationship with Him. What is holiness? Conforming our will to God’s will. Jesus shows us not only how to do this but to do it with love.
Palm Sunday is so much more than getting palms. We hear the passion narrative every year. Try and listen as if you were hearing it for the first time. It has something different to say to us each time we read it. Where you are in your life, the experiences you have had, losses you have suffered, the joys, and where you are in your spiritual life will affect what you take away from the reading. God invites us to enter into the scene and to “hear” so our hearts and minds are touched and forever changed. The Word is alive, and the Word is Christ. Are your ears open?
Every spiritual master counsels us that prayer is talking to and being with God and just showing up every day is what really matters and is most important. As we pray each day, we become more and more awakened to His voice and direction. This is how disciples are made.
I love the series, The Chosen, because it beautifully portrays Jesus’s humanity and relationship with each of His disciples. They came to know and love Him. If you have not watched this series, please do. You will see how much Jesus loved those he encountered and how they grew to love Him. His mercy, compassion, and how he delights in us is apparent in the stories portrayed. You cannot love or have intimacy with someone you do not know.
Wave your palms, sing Hosanna, and follow Him to Calvary, proclaiming, “Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 2nd Phil 2:11 Amen.