Holy Week Reflection
To my beautiful family:
Today is Palm Sunday. It is the day which begins Holy Week. This week is the holiest week on the Christian calendar.
In the beauty of the liturgical season we have, yet again, another moment to reflect on our relationship with God and his son, Jesus Christ. This week we are also encouraged by the Holy Spirit, who stirs within our soul by virtue of our baptism.
Here’s a reflection from Bishop Barron to help remind us that there is hope in this world. Our mission is to follow Jesus Christ. In those moments we fail – when we fail in our discipleship – we must not despair. We’re called to repent and begin again. Each day we must battle the spiritual forces that are trying to separate us from the love of God. St Paul tells us our battle is not with the powers of this world, but that the battlefield is against the principalities of darkness and evil that are invisible to the naked eye.
Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.”
Saint Paul, Letter to the Ephesians 6:11-13
St Peter reminds us also to be mindful of these evil spirits prowling and lurking in the darkness, not wanting us to be exposed to the light of God’s truth in our relationship with Christ and his Church.
Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.”
1 Peter 5:8-9
When we separate ourselves from the sacramental life of the Church (Eucharist, Confession, not living out our baptismal promises, not allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us as designed in Confirmation) we separate ourselves from Jesus himself. We separate ourselves from God.
Hell is life without God.
Don’t let anyone deceive you. Trying to live a life without God who designed you – a life separated from your Creator – is the definition of Hell. To believe otherwise is believing the words of the serpent in the Garden when he whispered to Adam and Eve, “you will not die.”
The Devil is the great deceiver. He is The Diabolos – “The Divider”. He wants to separate you from God. And he does so in the most subtle ways.
You must always be on your guard. You must recognize in those moments when he’s whispering in your ear and you must resist. Otherwise, you will succumb to Satan’s lie that you – as a created being, made in God’s image – can live without your Creator.
Can a work of art not point to its creator?
Do the stars and the planets, the mountains and oceans, the plants and birds, not point to someone who created them in all their majesty and beauty? To think that the entire universe and all its creation doesn’t have a creator is an illusion. In fact, we call the Big Bang the Moment of Creation. Even scientists agree that everything that exists today had a moment in time when things didn’t exist – and then they did!
You are a work of art. You are God’s masterpiece! You were created exactly how God intended for you to be. And now you must answer the question, “Why did God create me?”
“For what purpose was I created into this world?”
That is worth spending a lifetime trying to discover.
Read this reflection from Bishop Barron and have a great Holy Week. Spend some time this week asking Jesus to be with you. He is God the Son; ask him to be Lord of your life. Ask God the Father what he wants from you. Ask the Holy Spirit to come into your heart and to let yourself be open to God’s love.
Come, Holy Spirit. Help me to love God more and more each day. Help me to love myself more each day as God loves me. Help me to be the person God created me to be. Sometimes I’m a little lamb who wanders away from God’s flock. Help me to hear the call of Jesus, my Good Shepherd and Lord, and return to him where I’m safe for all eternity. Jesus, I trust in you. Amen.
Palm Sunday 2023
Disciple of Christ | Son of the Church
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.”
cf. Luke 6:45
palm sunday of the passion of the lord
by Bishop Robert Barron
It should still give us pause, two thousand years after the event, that Judas, one of the chosen Twelve, should be the one to betray Jesus. The Lord elected these men to represent the twelve tribes of Israel, gathered around the Messiah. They were to travel with him, share his daily life and routine, listen attentively to his words, watch his manner of life close up—all so that they could one day carry his message and his person to the world. They were apprentices to the Master. They were all flawed, of course, but Judas forsook him, broke faith with him, and thereby compromised his own life and mission. If, as the ancient Romans said, corruptio optimi pessima (the corruption of the best is the worst), then this degeneration from apprentice to betrayer of the Lord of Life has to be the worst spiritual collapse in human history. This is undoubtedly why Dante placed Judas head-first in the mouth of Satan in the pit of hell.
Now lest we fall into a stance of smug and self-satisfied judgmentalism in regard to Judas, I want all of us Catholics to reflect on a simple fact: we sinners are brothers and sisters to the betrayer. Every one of us baptized people has been chosen by the Lord; every one of us has been called into intimate company with him, invited to listen to his words, watch his example, and, mirabile dictu, to eat his Body and drink his Blood. And yet if we’re honest we must admit that we have repeatedly betrayed our Lord—we who, time and again, have gathered around the Lord’s own table.
Having taken in this haunting truth, here is the spiritual key: do not follow Judas into despair. Rather, walk the path of the repentant Peter.
A Light Unto My Path, Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, as published in Magnificat, April 2023, https://www.magnificat.net Information herein posted under the "rules of fair use" to foster education and discussion in accordance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976.
Jesus, good shepherd and lord, hear our prayer.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.