In the brief homily for Palm Sunday, Fr. Steve speaks of the importance for each disciple of Jesus to continue to place their lives into a bigger plan – God’s plan. We see Jesus doing living that out so clearly during the Passion. It wasn’t easy for Jesus ……remember the garden of Gethsemane. But your will, not mine be done. During these days of anxiety and uncertainty, we will find our ultimate peace in God’s plan.
In the passion, the disciples abandon Jesus, when he needs them the most. It is tough to embrace the cross in our lives. Too often we do not want the message of Jesus if it interrupts our pattern of living – the plan we have set for ourselves. I want to be the captain of my own ship! …….However as Jesus said, “If anyone wants to be my disciple, let him or her deny themselves, take up their cross and follow in my footsteps.” Our plan is about God’s kingdom, not ours. Lord knows, our plans can be disrupted. It happens all the time. And these last few weeks are simply another example.
Every year, we celebrate the great Paschal Triduum beginning with Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, followed by the celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday and climaxing with the great Easter Vigil on Saturday evening. However, we will be able to celebrate virtually. So again, I encourage you to participate virtually with us during those sacred three days. You will be invited to prepare a Triduum Kit for the upcoming liturgies – find that on our website. It will include a towel and water for foot washing, a cross for veneration of Good Friday, and a Candle for the Easter Vigil. Let your lives be disrupted by a message of truth and hope these coming days.
Today, we focus on Jesus’ passion. One of the primary messages of the passion of Jesus is that Jesus’ passion story is a story of any disciple. It should be our story as well. We cannot be pious observers recalling an event of ancient history. We are called to be participants in the paschal mystery of Jesus. Sometimes that will mean accepting suffering and hardships as a part of life knowing that our suffering or cross is endured for a greater purpose, a greater plan – that is God’s plan. So sacrifices made for your spouse, your children, your parents are all about something bigger than you; sacrifices made for the church, the poor, the less fortunate, your neighbor in need are all about something bigger than you; sacrifices made so that you can give your life away to others are all about something bigger than you……the kingdom of God. We are driven by something much bigger than our own needs…….as disciples of Jesus, we are united with him and together we live for God’s reign and kingdom. Our passion and our mission is one with Jesus. And that gives us strength and peace.