April 13-14, 2019
Entering Holy Week, we do so knowing full well what lies ahead. We also have experienced how quickly humans can take light and goodness and snuff them out for our own benefit. Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a wave of hosannas, palm fronds, and crowds bowing in adulation, and in a few days the praise and glory will be trampled by the need for self-preservation and fear. Self-preservation and fear is a deadly combination. Jesus, God among us, will quietly, willingly suffer what self-preservation at all cost and fear will demand. He knows well the brokenness of our humanity and distorted sense of self.
Let us spend time this week reflecting on today’s second reading from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. “Jesus did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.” The Son of God did not attempt to put himself on equal footing with God, his Abba. If only we humans could do the same. Since the dawn of creation, we humans have attempted to make ourselves into gods, to put ourselves on equal footing with the One who has created us and the One who died for us. And God, in boundless mercy, not only allows it, but continues to embrace us in our hubris and arrogance. Perhaps the little donkey in today’s blessing of palm gospel might serve as an example for us. Let this lowly animal be the symbol of Christ’s humility- a humility that is not self-loathing and self-diminishing but one that honors all men and women as children of God, a humility that enables us to love all humankind as brothers and sisters in Christ, a humility that fills us with awe and wonder and leads us to rejoice in gratitude to our loving God for God’s tremendous, abundant pouring-out of God’s very Self.
Again I invite you to spend time with these Scripture verses. (Phil. 2:5-8) What would it mean to empty yourself before God with humility and gratitude? What would that look like? Will you let God be God for you, trusting in God’s mercy and compassion? Will you be God’s mercy and compassion to all?
Let us make this our prayer this week.
Loving God, forgive our indiscretions, our human weakness, and the same weaknesses that led the crowd to cry out: “Crucify him!” We bow our heads at the mention of Jesus’ name, knowing that we are not worthy and yet are loved beyond measure. In gratitude we cry out – THANK YOU. Please help us to become vessels of Your compassion and mercy for others.