April 1, 2012
Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ
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. Isaiah 50:4-6
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. Philippians 2:6-8
The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!" Mark 15:38-39
Piety makes a Palm Sunday out of the moment we are in. By our piety we salute the Christ of the Sacrament of the Present Moment. The joy of our hearts welcomes the Christ who lives forever in the heart that belongs to him. The joy of our hearts makes Christ present in the love we have for each other. Christ comes to every moment we truly love one another. The Christian fully alive is caught up in the joy of finding Christ in the moment. Spirituality goes from putting on the mind and the heart of Christ to living the presence of Christ by our love for one another. Our piety is the response of our hearts to Christ always present by indwelling in our souls. Joy is the expression of the presence that we call piety. The happy Christian by joy lives piety each moment of happiness and the expression of overflowing joy makes piety real to others.
We study how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Piety gives birth to a well-trained tongue that knows how to rouse up the discouraged. We learn how to open our eyes to the love of God that possesses each moment of life. Our study of the word of the Lord allows us to lift the burdens of the unhappy. The joy of the word of God in our hearts gives birth to the realization that following Christ will not bring shame. We look at Jesus who emptied himself of his equality with God taking the form of a slave, coming into our lives in human likeness, becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross. He has given us an example of love, dying for us to remove the stain of sin if we would accept his embrace from the cross of our mistakes. We learn from him how to be forgiving of one another.
We enter into Holy Week renewed by our Lenten fasts and good works. We look at the passion of Christ and try to carry our crosses of life with the same dignity as Christ. There is opportunity to pray the passion by what we suffer in life as we allow ourselves to fill up what is wanting to the suffering of Christ in his Mystical Body. Our best actions of Holy week are in the ways we enter into the suffering of Christ and accept in gazing at his incredible love for us the call to put up with and to make up for our own sinfulness and the sinfulness of our family. We can try to reach out to the lonely people of our lives. We can do hard tasks without being asked and without complaints. The actions of Holy Week are best the actions of making our lives holy in the name of Christ. We can try to be especially generous of our time and money for those who do not have what we have. The best waving of palms for this Sunday will be the actions of generosity that relive the love of Christ in what we do for one another. Let us welcome Christ into the Jerusalem of our hearts! Let us be Christ for one another.