The heart of our Christian Faith is the Paschal Mystery. The Paschal Mystery means that Christ has died; Christ is Risen; Christ will come again. We celebrate the Paschal Mystery everyday when we celebrate the Eucharist.
But in the course of the year, we focus our hearts and minds on the Paschal Mystery especially during the week that is called holy, Holy Week.
♥ Holy Week
✠ Why is it called holy? It is holy not because of pain; because pain does not lead to sanctity. It is holy not because of suffering; becausesuffering by itself does not make us saints.
✠It is holy because the One who suffered and endured so much pain during this week put so much love into the pain, put so much love into the suffering.
✠This Week means we become holy because of love. St. Paul says, “You can even give up your body to be burnt, but without love, you are nothing.” So, today, we enter into the Holy of Holies, who has opened his mind, who has opened his heart to us.
♥ Palm Sunday
✠Commemoration. The first day of this Holy Week is Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. Today, we commemorate the entry of Jesus to Jerusalem. And he entered with the song and greetings of the people, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest!” Waving their palm branches. We remember and we re-enact this event.
✠ A New Relationship. But the most important thing to know is that Palm Sunday is not just a rememberingnor a re-enactment of Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem. Palm Sunday is about a relationship. Holy Week is not a matter of activities; not a matter of doing things. Holy Week is a matter of entering into a new kind of relationship with God.
✠The Lord’s Passion.Today is called Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. Why?
✠Because during the Eucharist, the passion of the Lord is read. What does it mean? In the same liturgy, we hear the “Hosanna to the Son of David” and then, right after that, in a few minutes, we enter into the Passion. The people who said Hosanna will be the same people who will say, “Crucify Him!” The people who welcomed Him with delight will be the same people who will delight in seeing Him crucified.
✠What does it show? It shows the fickle-mindedness, fickle-heartedness of men and women. What is more embarrassing though is this: even if we have done abominable things to God, even if we continue to crucify him, God remains faithful.
✠ God’s Love is Faithful.
God’s faithfulness does not depend on the fidelity of men and women. We can be unfaithful. We can be liars. We can be thieves and robbers. We can violate His honor and glory. And yet, God will remain faithful. That is what Palm Sunday teaches us: God’s Way of Love.
♥ The MARKS OF GOD’S LOVE this Holy Week
✠Agape. This week we shall see the four faces of God’s Love, Agape love. Agape is an active unconditional love.
These facets of AGAPE will be highlighted in the four most important days of the week: Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
PALMS: FOUR FACES OF GOD’S LOVE
♥ Passion of our Lord
√ When: Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
√ What: Suffering and Sacrificing Love
√ says, “I never think of myself first; everything I do is for someone else.”
√ says, “I’ll be rejected so you can be accepted;”
√ says, “I’ll be humiliated so you can be lifted up.”
√ says, “I’ll sit this one up for the good of the team.”
√ says, “I’ll move to the back so my friend can move up front.”
Agape love is a rare kind of love that will tackle you to the ground so you won’t fall off a cliff.
√ When: Holy Thursday
√ What: Repairing and Serving Love
√ is a rare love that proves its merit by action.
√ asks,“How can I outserve everyone around me today?”
√ allows for the beloved a chance to repair what was broken, to rise up again and start anew;
√ empowers the beloved to prove one’s love by “feeding” His Sheep, “tending” His Flock, that is, by “serving.”
√ says, “I’m with you always.”
√ says, “I’ll provide for you.” “I’ll sit with you beside still waters and I’ll go before you in battle.” It leads you to truth; steers you from harm.
♥ Loving Mercy of God
√ When: Good Friday
√ What: Forgiving Love in the Cross
√ says, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” even while yet being offended;
√ says, “I forgive you,” “I’m your best friend.”
√ is patient, is kind. It always protects. It trusts, hopes and perseveres. It builds up, seeks the lost, befriends enemies. It corrects, guides, comforts, reassures.
√ When: Easter Sunday
√ What: Saving Love through the Resurrection
√ is a motivational love that says, “Don’t worry because I got your back.””You can do all things with me on your side.”
√ is a kind of love that can’t be earned;can’t be bought; won’t leave you; won’t forsake you; won’t misjudge you.
√ is unmerited. It’s unmovable. It’s unshakable, undeniable, indestructible, secure, sensitive and straightforward.
√ It is the kind of love that’s better than life, stronger than death.
√ It is a kind of love that says, “I’ll die so you can live!”
Let us ask the Lord to keep up faithful like Him so that when the trials come we may be proven worthy. As gold is tested by fire, when we are tested, may the Lord shine through us. Amen. ♥