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Palm Sunday Gospel Reflection

April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Human beings are united in their suffering. When we find ourselves in a painful moment, our first reaction is “why me?” as if we are the only person on earth who ever encountered this challenge. Going through life with a “why me” attitude only finds us wallowing in the mire of self-pity and never seizing opportunities or graces. We walk in solidarity with every human being in the experience of suffering. Believing that the goal of life is the elimination or avoidance of suffering is simply an illusion that keeps us entrenched in a collective myth. This myth distorts us and limits us.

There are living witnesses among us showing how courage and determination can overcome any degree of hardship, pain, loss, or tragedy. Folks finding the normalcy of their lives suddenly torn asunder are faced with options: opportunity or despair, stay or leave. Jesus stands before us as the prime example of endurance and perseverance. He is the One who showed humility through both the triumphs of life (by learning to be humble) and the tragedies and injustices (by learning how to be obedient). To secular ears, this may be perceived as nonsense. But to those with the eyes of faith, they are pearls of great price.

True humility tempers the temptation we have to become complacent and prevents an excessive relishing of life’s successes and affirmations. Learning obedience keeps us faithful to our relationship with God so that we can find the courage to endure any depth of hardship, disappointment, betrayal, or agony. While we may want our cup of suffering to be taken away, it simply cannot be. Somehow and somewhere in the seemingly opposing experiences life can deal us, God is present with His reassuring, compassionate, empowering, and persevering love. To be true to who we are and who God is, we must take up the cross of suffering, even when it’s the hardest and most apparently senseless thing to do.

Only our soul can understand these things, but our minds cannot, so they continue to run to secular ideas and solutions to pain and hardship. It goes without saying that we need to do all we can to eliminate as much senseless, unjust suffering as possible. Hunger, violence, abuse, exploitation, rejection, prejudice, homelessness, disrespect for life, and a whole host of other sins all result in suffering that is within our control. Then, when we face the uncontrollable kind of suffering or find ourselves the victim of injustice, what do we do?

5 de abril de 2020

Domingo de Ramos de la Pasión de Cristo

Estamos ya en el Domingo de Ramos, empezamos la Semana Mayor o Semana Santa donde se celebra el núcleo de nuestra fe, “La resurrección de Jesucristo” pasando por la pasión y la muerte. El jueves y el viernes deben ser tomados en cuenta dando especial cuidado a las celebraciones litúrgicas que enseñan una catequesis centrada en lo que se vive durante el Año Litúrgico en la Iglesia. “Bendito el que viene en nombre del Señor”; El pueblo le daba la bienvenida al Señor, tal como lo hacemos ahora nosotros en este Domingo de Ramos o de palmas como se dice.

El Papa Francisco, nos invita a reflexionar sobre este día con las siguientes palabras: “La Liturgia de hoy nos enseña que el Señor no nos ha salvado con una entrada triunfal o mediante milagros poderosos. Pero si queremos seguir al Maestro, más que alegrarnos porque el viene a salvarnos, estamos llamados a elegir su camino: el camino del servicio, de la donación, del olvido de uno mismo…Jesús se despojó de sí mismo: renunció a la gloria de Hijo de Dios y se convirtió en Hijo del hombre, para ser en todo solidario con nosotros pecadores, él que no conoce el pecado. Pero no solamente esto: ha vivido entre nosotros en una «condición de esclavo» (Filipenses 2:7): no de rey, ni de príncipe, sino de esclavo…con su humillación, Jesús nos invita a purificar nuestra vida. Volvamos a él la mirada, pidamos la gracia de entender algo de su anonadación por nosotros; reconozcámoslo Señor de nuestra vida y respondamos a su amor infinito con un poco de amor concreto.” ¡Viva Cristo, nuestro Rey!

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