Pulling Our Weight…of the Cross: Weekly Message for 4-04-17

Dear Digital Pilgrim, Pax Christi:

Palm Sunday Mass is a liturgy that stands out, no doubt.

The holding of palms, the sprinkling of holy water, the procession into the church, the long reading of the Passion drama – all these elements make it a Mass that shakes
the heart.

For it is a liturgy that points up the Jekyll and Hyde in all of us.

At the start the faithful hold palm branches and sing, “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord …” A half-hour or so later, the same voices together recite those sinister words, “Let him be crucified!”

Sobering it is to remember that it is our personal sins that helped put Jesus on the cross. And while we can never fully repay Jesus for what he did for us, we can make some amends by carrying our own crosses patiently.

Those crosses might turn heavier if the world continues to drift away from Christian values and if it turns on the very people who espouse those values.

If that be the case, there will be room for joy. Yes, joy. For we will be able, in some small way, to learn what it means to fill up “what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church” (Colossians 1:24).

Being rejected by the world is a good sign that we might be learning something from the Master and his ordeal of Holy Week.

If you need help preparing spiritually for Holy Week, you might consider doing our retreat “The Colors of the Cross”.

I pray that your Holy Week brings you to a deeper appreciation for what Jesus did
for you.

In Christ,

Father Edward McIlmail, L.C.
Ask a Priest contributor

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