Taking Up Our Cross! ~ The Very Rev. Lady Sherwood, OPI
Reading 1: IS 50:4-7
Responsorial Psalm: PS 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24.
Reading 2: PHIL 2:6-11
Gospel:MT 26:14—27:66 OR 27:11-54
Liturgical colour: Red.
Today, we come together as the church to celebrate a feast day that consists of 2 totally opposite double edges. On the one hand, we have all the pomp and glorious ceremony of our Lord Jesus arriving into Jerusalem as the King of Kings amongst all the palms that were laid down in his pathway, and also of those being waved to the glorious shouts of ‘Hosanna!’ and ‘Alleluia!’ by the joyful and excited crowds.
On the other hand, we have Jesus who is already focussing upon the cross, knowing that he will very soon be betrayed, denied by his own. Knowing and accepting that he will be tried, mocked, tortured and crucified to atone for our sins!
I have heard people asking, exactly what does this meaning pf Palm Sunday have in our lives today?
Well, as Christians, We are supposed to accept and honour our Lord, totally welcoming him with all that we are, into our lives, into our very hearts and soul. But do we do this wholeheartedly, or are we like the feast of today..having 2 opposite sides?
Do we truly welcome Jesus as Our Lord and Saviour, as our King of kings into every facet of our being, or do we only do this when things are good within our lives?
Do we all too often tend to celebrate, welcome and worship our Lord Jesus as our true Lord, Saviour and Heavenly King, when things are joyous within our lives, but yet, then betray and deny him and his truth, in times of sufferings?
As an example, let us look at the current situation within our lives of the Cov=19 virus. So many times, I have been seeing this virus as being said to be sent from God as a punishment. Sadly, and all too often, a punishment wrongly classed as God’s wrath against certain of our brothers and sisters within our society. Usually said due to personal human agenda that has crept into the teaching of the faith to many.
So, what could this example have to do with welcoming and celebrating our Lord Jesus, yet then denying and betraying him? This is only one example of many which I could’ve used here as sadly, this happens for a multitude of differing reasons.
It is simply that each time we use anything that is not of God, within our lives to justify things in His Holy Name for human purposes, , we are indeed both denying and betraying Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! We are welcoming him in good times as if in the Joyous occasion of palm Sunday celebrations, but then Just as Judas did when he betrayed our Lord to the Romans, and when Peter denied knowing him 3 times, we are betraying and denying him when we are difficult times!
What we should be doing is always focussing on our Lord at all times and his teaching at all times, whether they be times of rejoicing, or indeed of sufferings.
Just as Our Lord Jesus went through the good times, he still always kept focused upon what he knew was coming, what he was there to do..the Will of God his Father. He gladly accepted all for our sakes!
If we are truly followers of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we as he did, need to always be focused upon him and upon his Holy Cross. Just as Jesus did, we must take up our crosses and follow Jesus at all times, whether in good or in suffering.
So let us take up our crosses and follow our Lord at all times, and in all situations. Let us keep our eyes firmly on Him who willingly sacrificed all for each of us, and not let us become double-minded in our faith! Let us take up our crosses and follow with joy, as the sufferings of this world are only temporary and will flee away, but the salvation of Our Lord is eternal and shall never fade away!
May the Lord bless you this Palm Sunday!
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