Palm Sunday ~ The humility of Jesus


Palm Sunday / April 1, 2012

Dear Friends,

All is ready now for the final days of our Lenten journey with Jesus.  The stage is set for the drama of the Paschal Mystery to be re-enacted in the parishes throughout the world.   There are parishes around which are filled with life.  I hope you can find one.

There’s a parish south of Fort Lauderdale, St. Maurice in Davie, that  has been doing liturgy well and devotedly for many years.  People there are alive, spontaneous, welcoming.  Their eyes sparkle with joy ~  in this neighborhood with many elderly folks. img_0422

As I participated in the liturgy of Palm Sunday , I pondered Jesus’ humility and am grateful that he whittled my aberrant ego down to size.   Philippians today says Jesus “emptied himself of his equality with God and became obedient even unto death.”

I know what humiliation feels like; After a while, it made me humble.  I am a marginalized person with a mental illness and other things. But I rejoice I have found my way to a home here in north Lauderdale’s  Cypress Chase A condominium, as an ordinary person.

As the crowds hailed him as King and shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David! and threw cloaks and palm branches at his feet, I wonder what he was thinking.  He surely knew that the end was near.  What was his prayer as he looked into the faces of the crowd of well-wishers who would abandon him a few days later when the going got rough?

Here’s the link for Mass readings Palm Sunday.

My prayer this Holy Week is two-fold:

First, the renewal of the priesthood that I find sadly in disarray these days.  Reflecting on Hebrews this week I had a renewed sense of the meaning of Jesus’ priesthood.  He was to stand in the breach and offer his own life as sacrifice.  I pray that we priests would do the same ~ to heroically offer our own selves as gift for the people we have been ordained to shepherd.

I understand the meaning of Jesus’ priesthood more fully, more personally ~ and I commit myself to this charge and ideal ~ to  help our people find the meaning that will inspire all of us, church and society to be purified, cleansed and made holy.

This  in the midst of the messiness of of our economy

of our own personal and family life

of the superficiality, the unreality and lack of moral courage in American culture today

and yes, the messiness of our church.

I unite myself as I have for many years with my priest/brothers who bear the heat of the day.  I will pray for you, for us, fully and richly this week.

And secondly, I continue to pray for the transformation of America.  We have to return to being One Nation Under God.

The humble man who rode into his city on a donkey, not a stunning white stallion as a mighty conqueror is the Jesus I know and love.  I need to follow his way.  img_04271

Lord Jesus,

may we slow down our activity this Holy Week

to unite ourselves in your high priestly prayer

for the reconciliation of the world.

May we be wiling to give of ourselves and accept our crosses

as a way of building up Your kingdom of love here in our world today.

Hosanna to You, the Son of David!

Before you go, here is a beautiful song performed by some very devout young people ~ “Behold the Lamb of God”.  Be sure to enter full screen.  Have a fruitful Holy Week.  I will publish again later in the week.

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

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