Every day, we need to go to our quiet place...

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

April 9, A.D. 2006

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Mark 11:1-10
Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24
Philippians 2:6-11
Mark 14:1--15:47

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

With Palm Sunday, we enter into the most sacred week of the year, celebrating the "Paschal Mystery" of the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

The first reading from the 50th chapter of Isaiah speaks of the Suffering Servant with the well-polished tongue who patiently but boldly speaks the saving truth "to a weary world." How skillfully the Church shows us that, long ago, God foretold the depths of suffering His Son would endure, setting his face "like flint," not flinching, not turning back.

St. Paul's second reading is all about Jesus' "kenosis," the emptying out of His divine glory, that He might become the humble servant, human like us in all things but sin. No wonder every knee must bow at the mention of His name! How the early Church fought to maintain the doctrine that Jesus is both God and man! What a stupendous sacrifice for our redemption!

The Church is a master of drama in the liturgies of this week. In the use of the Celebrant and two readers for the Passion this week, and in the congregation's voice, we all become part of the action. Most feel embarrassed to cry "Crucify Him!" with the palm branches still in our hands. We feel like hypocrites. Yet our sin is what placed us in that position. It helps drive home the crime of deicide! St. Mark presses the question, "Who is Jesus?" all through his gospel. As we watch the heavens darken and hear the thunder, we cry with that centurion, "Indeed this was the Son of God!" We should beat our breasts at the realization of what our sins have done!

The shock of Palm Sunday's liturgy compresses two thousand years into this Year of Our Lord. We have no place to hide. We need to suspend all other activities, quiet our busy-ness, and focus on the events of this week. It's all in the sacred Liturgy, the local penance services, the Stations of the Cross, the Thursday night adoration and the Good Friday veneration of the Cross. All will prepare us for the coming out of darkness into the new fire, the new light, the new saving water of the Easter Vigil - and Resurrection.

- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
(smartins at frontiernet dot net)

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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