Today’s Thoughts: Pope Francis invited us to renew our relationship with Jesus last year when he said,
“I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”. The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms. Now is the time to say to Jesus: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways, I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace”. How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost! Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy. Christ, who told us to forgive one another “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders. No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness, which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew. Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than his life, which impels us onwards!”
It is my feeling that Pope Francis’ invitation focuses us on the gift of this Holy Week. It is an invitation to once again enter a personal relationship with our God who loved us so much that he gave us his only son. As we journey through Holy Week we relive the crowning moment of Jesus’ journey, his journey of love. Today Jesus enters Jerusalem to take his last steps, steps that sum up his whole existence. He gave himself without reserve he kept nothing for himself, not even his life. May we take Pope Francis’ invitation to heart and live the mercy and joy of the Gospel proclaimed today!
As we begin this most holy of weeks, we are reminded of Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. This wonderful, “Hosanna” filled day is the starting point for the central story of all the Gospels, Jesus’ Passion, Death and Resurrection. Today, we reconnect ourselves to all those first gatherings of the Church as we listen to Luke's accounts of Palm Sunday and the Passion of our Lord. We remember the triumphant ride over the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem and the lonely walk to Calvary. We once again tell the story of triumphant, glory, hosanna, struggle, pain, sorrow, blessing, truth, giftedness, prayer and most importantly love. Like the early Church and all the centuries of Church that have gone before us, we are asked to remember, to believe, to have faith and to hope in the love and mercy of God as lived out by our Lord Jesus Christ. As we journey through this Holy Week, “May the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ Truly Be Always in Our Hearts!”
Have a holy and blessed Palm Sunday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...