Today we begin the celebration of Holy Week. For many of us, this is known as Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday. The reading from the Gospel of Mark is about the suffering and death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is a very long reading because it is the story of the Passion of our Lord. It tells us a very important truth: Jesus died for us. He died for each and every one of us. Have you ever really thought about this – that Jesus died for you? Are you grateful for this wonderful act of love?
Being grateful to God means way more than simply saying “Thank You” to Him. If we are truly grateful for the cost of Jesus’ love for us we should become a better person each day, a person who tries to reject anything that blocks growth in our relationship with the One who died for us. It follows that we should love and care for those whom God also loves: our needy brothers and sisters.
As we begin this Holy Week, may we make this week truly holy as we express our gratitude to God by turning away from sin and to be pleasing to God by our acts of kindness and love towards each person we encounter each day.
Another way to show our love and try to imitate the One who loves us so completely is to reflect on the reading from Philippians. This reading has much to teach us.
Christ the Messiah, Jesus our Lord, 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 death, even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
How will you make this Holy Week special as you realize the great cost of Jesus’ death for you?
What can you learn and practice from reflecting on the reading from Philippians?