REFLECTION: Today, we receive palm branches at church to celebrate Jesus’ joyous entry into Jerusalem. READ about a community in Santa Fe, New Mexico that works to bring this kind of joy to those in need.
(Yes, today we receive our palm branches at church, they have been blesses. We bring them home with respect, and put them up in our homes. I have mine near a cross, some people weave them into crosses. Do we adore them? Of course not. This reminds us of this joyous day and reminds us all year of Jesus giving up his life for our sins and then His joyous Resurrection on Easter. Since they are blessed, we treat them with respect, and when we replace them the next year, we usually burn them, if possible, and throw away the ashes.)
PRAYERS: THE CROSSES OF FAITH: The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Matthew 21:9
Christ Jesus, you are the king of kings and Lord of lords. It is disheartening to live in a world that does not always recognize you as King. Although I fall at your feet with shouts of “Hosanna,” many of my family and friends refuse to do the same. Gird my heart, O lord, as I carry the many crosses of faith. Prepare me for this Holy Week. And prepare me for an eternity of service in your Holy Kingdom. Amen. (I can certainly relate to this prayer. I pray daily for some of my family to receive the grace to believe Jesus is King.)
SO THAT WE COULD LIVE: He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death–even death on a cross. Philippians 2:8
Every death that we live, whether it’s the small deaths during life or the big death at the end, is to make us more able to give ourselves, to be more fruitful. That’s the mystery of the life of Jesus. He died so that we could live, so that we could have his spirit, his intimate communion with God, so that we could participate more fully in that childhood. He wants us to live with that spirit, and you and I are called to give ourselves to others so that they can bear fruit. I had a little glimpse of that. I was nearly dead two years ago because of a car accident. I was suddenly faced with death. To my great surprise, I was not afraid. I suddenly realized that Jesus says that you are there to give yourself, and if you die, don’t be afraid because your death is meant to be for others. It’s not for yourself. Your death is a gift for the world. by Henri J.M.Nouwen (this brings to my mind, people who suffer or people that live to be 100. Some would like to end those lives quickly so that person won’t suffer. But perhaps that person is suffering on earth for a quick trip to Heaven with no stop on the way. Perhaps the help that an older person needs is to teach us lessons in compassion, understanding, and patience. We need to keep this in mind when someone mentions assisted suicide or some other method of ending a life before God’s time. Think Life, not death.)
Precious Savior, you gave yourself for others. Show me how to do the same.
PRAY FOR COMPASSION, UNDERSTANDING AND PATIENCE THIS LENT