Ministering with love till the end

Al Cariño, OMI
Editor: Mindanao Cross
Reproduced with Permission

Palm or Passion Sunday


With Palm or Passion Sunday, we now come to the Holy Week. Its over–all motif is found in Phil. 2:5–11 which is a summary of "the great mysteries of our redemption": Jesus, though Son of God, took the form of a man, obediently accepted "even death on a cross," so that in the end "God highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name above every name: ... Lord."

The first part of the liturgy commemorates the solemn entry of Jesus into Jerusalem — the decisive step into His suffering and death (Lk. 19:28–40). Earlier, the Evangelists had pointed out that Jesus had "set his face towards Jerusalem" — the setting of His passion and death, and later, His triumph. As events unraveled, Jesus was in complete control — He it was who told His disciples what to do.

Finally, Jesus was in Jerusalem! To welcome Him, the people placed branches and spread their cloaks on the road, shouting, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord." Then the liturgy shifts to a more somber tone — the solemn reading of the Passion and Death of Jesus (Lk. 23:1–49). This prepares us to what will follow days later — our celebration of the Paschal Triduum — Jesus' Passion (Holy Thursday), Death (Good Friday) and Resurrection (Easter Vigil on Saturday Evening).

In our reflection on the trial, passion and death of Jesus, let us focus on two things: the different paradoxes that surfaced and Jesus' ministering with love and mercy till the end.

Paradoxes

A paradox is a statement or proposition seemingly contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth. We see many of these in Luke's account of Jesus' passion and death.

Ministering with love

His suffering notwithstanding, Jesus continued to minister love and mercy to others.

As we begin Holy Week, we are asked to reflect on the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus — the three inseparable parts of the Paschal Mystery. As we do so, let us focus on God's love and mercy — which Jesus liberally dispensed despite His sufferings and which He continues to do in our time and till the end of time.

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