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!

5th Sunday of Lent Gospel Reflection

Even though we say that we believe, there is a part of us that doesn’t. There are many times in our lives when we experience death, whether it be the physical death of someone we love, a failed relationship, the loss of a job, or a broken dream. As we are going through these death experiences, we can easily find ourselves reaching out to God to make it better and fix it! We think that the proper order of life is to maintain the things of this world, especially those things that are essential to our sense of well-being and security. We do not like change. The grieving that comes from our death experiences can keep us stuck and in despair. If we have lost something or someone of great value, the very meaning and essence of life is lost with them. We need gentle companions to lift us from despair and that is precisely who God desires to be in our life as well.

God calls us out of our tombs, where we have been closed up in fear and despair, and shouts, “Come out!” He desperately wants to show us the path to hope and the new life that is possible after loss and death. But our faith can be weak, and we still prefer to cling to the memory of what we had rather than the joyful possibilities of tomorrow. We sometimes live as if God is not real and that the transformative power of His resurrected presence is a story found in the Bible rather than a narrative unfolding in our lives.

God is the God of surprises, not our demise. God opens new possibilities, begins new chapters, creates new verses, and brings us to new heights! We spend so much time and energy ruminating over what we left behind yesterday that we are far too tired to see what can unfold tomorrow. Loving someone new doesn’t negate our past loves. Embracing the love of a person, God, or life itself tomorrow doesn’t diminish the love of yesterday. Each of our loves is different, and one cannot be replaced by another. They don’t cancel each other out. God truly has tended to every detail of our lives, and if we listen to each detail, we find that they all lead us back to Him. Jesus wants us to come out of our closed-up tombs. Are we going to listen this time?


MEDITACIÓN EVANGÉLICO – ALENTAR ENTENDIMIENTO MÁS PROFUNDO DE LA ESCRITURA

La semana pasada, el ciego de nacimiento nos ilumino a creer en Jesús y postrarnos ante el para adorarlo. Ahora, la Liturgia, nos presenta otro gran milagro y las amigas de Jesús lo afirman de manera diferente al ciego. El dialogo es diferente pero la pregunta es la misma: ¿Crees tú esto? Es decir, que Jesús es la resurrección y la vida. La respuesta es afirmativa: “Si, Señor. Creo firmemente que tú eres el Mesías, el Hijo de Dios, el que tenía que venir al mundo.” (Juan 11:27) Para que el milagro sucediera, Jesús se tardó a propósito dos días en llegar, como nos lo relata el Evangelio. Tiempo muy largo para las hermanas. Era demasiado retraso; cuatro días tenía ya su hermano en el sepulcro. Sin embargo, para tener fe el tiempo no cuenta. Ellas tenían fe y el Señor las pone a prueba. Salieron triunfantes; Marta y María son modelo para todas las generaciones.

Estamos por terminar el camino en el desierto; la Cuaresma pronto llagara a su fin. El próximo Domingo celebraremos el Domingo de Ramos. A estas alturas, ya debe la fe rebozar en el corazón de cada creyente.  Tal como las amigas de Jesús: “Marta y María, protagonistas del Evangelio de hoy, nos enseñan cómo debe vivirse la vida del cristiano, ‘el enamorado’ del Señor… ‘Contemplación y servicio’: éste es el camino de nuestra vida. Cada uno de nosotros piense: ¿Cuánto tiempo al día dedico a contemplar el misterio de Jesús? Y después: ¿Cómo trabajo? Trabajo tanto ¿que parece una alienación, o trabajo de modo coherente con mi fe?… Nos hará bien pensar esto”. (Papa Francisco)

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