Today the Church begins the most Holy Week of the Church’s Liturgical Calendar. The church invites us to make the journey with Jesus to Jerusalem.  For us it is not a city but it might be an illness, a change in our life, a problem, challenge or perhaps uncertainty ahead of us. Jesus shows us how to move toward our Jerusalem.

As with Jesus, many people who say they will be with us will not be. Yet, we must move forward, facing whatever lies ahead, knowing that Christ Jesus has been there before. We are not entering our Jerusalem alone. Jesus has been there.

At the conclusion of the station of the Cross at Rome’s colosseum, on Good Friday night in the Jubilee Year 2000, St John Paul II spoke these moving words:

Photo by Dennis Jarvis

Who, if not the Condemned Savior, can fully understand the pain of those unjustly condemned?

Who, if not the King scorned and humiliated, can meet the expectations of the countless men and women who live without hope or dignity?

Who, if not the crucified Son of God, Can know the sorrow and loneliness of so many lives shattered and without a future?

What a Savior we have! He truly understands our human condition. He walks with us and shares our sorrows, loneliness and suffering.

Passion Sunday invites us to put on what St. Paul calls the “attitude of Christ Jesus” (Phi. 2:6-11) in his passion and death; to “empty” ourselves of our own interest, fears and needs for the sake of others. As we begin this Holy week that recalls the great events of our redemption, let us ask the Lord to give us the grace and the strength to face whatever is ahead of us. Jesus shows that the cross, whatever forms it takes in our life, can lead to Salvation and New life.

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Palm Sunday and the Passion teach us brothers that whatever lies in our future, Christ Jesus has been there. He knows the way that will lead to Easter for us. May we reach out to heal those who are hurting and comfort the despairing around us despite our won denials and betrayals.