This Passion or Palm Sunday begins the celebrations of our Holy Week. Like Moses and the Israelites (in Deuteronomy 30, 15-20) who stood before the threshold of the Promised Land, so we stand at the beginning of a wonderful and challenging entry into our Lord’s passion, death and so prepare to enter into the ‘promised land’ of resurrection at Easter. And, just as Moses said to the ancient Israelites before they stepped foot on that holy land, “I set before you, life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life then, and you will live!” Jesus too sets before us life and death, the blessing and the curse for us. We then, are called to choose life in our Lord! Each year during Holy Week (it seems to me) we are called to choose life in Jesus all over and against all obstacles as we make our way and our journey to heaven. Our Catholic Faith and Christianity has so much to offer for us, a means of peace and joy and happiness and forgiveness in Christ. The challenge then is to pick up our cross each day and follow Him who is the Lord. My hope in the next few days is that each of you will take advantage of this life by attending two or more of our Holy Week Services. Please check our bulletin for all the Mass times and places in each parish and consider taking that journey together as disciples of our Lord!
Bringing my series on prayer this Lent to an end, I would like to conclude with a quote from St. Francis of Assisi on the Lord’s Prayer. St. Francis had such a simple but holy approach to Christ that should inspire all of us:
“Jesus said, ‘Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’ May we love you Lord with our whole heart by always thinking of you, with our whole soul by always desiring you, with our whole mind by directing all our intentions to you, and with our whole strength by spending all our energies in your service. And may we love our neighbor as ourselves… ‘Give us this day our daily bread…’ In memory and understanding and reverence of the love which our Lord Jesus Christ has for us, revealed by his sacrifice for us on the cross, we ask for that perfect bread of his Body. ‘And forgive us our trespasses…’
We know that you forgive us, through the suffering and death of your beloved Son. ‘As we forgive those who trespass against us….’ Enable us to forgive perfectly and without reserve any wrong that has been committed against us.” (St. Francis of Assisi)
For me the Lord’s prayer is so simple and yet it contains all that a good prayer needs: praise, thanksgiving, petition, and contrition. Next to the Mass the Lord’s Prayer is really the greatest prayer that can be said. May it truly become a living part of our everyday life!
Words to live by: “Real love begins when nothing is expected in return.”