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Sunday, March 28, 2010

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Passion (Palm) Sunday

Luke 19:28-40 (Entrance Processional)
Isaiah 50:4-7
Philippians 2:6-11
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24

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shock treatments

"He emptied Himself and took the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men. He was known to be of human estate, and it was thus that He humbled Himself, obediently accepting even death, death on a cross!" —Philippians 2:7-8

Today the Church tries to shock us into repentance by contrasting the "Hosanna" of Palm Sunday with the "Crucify Him" of Good Friday. How can human beings be so perverse as to viciously murder God Himself, the perfectly loving and innocent Jesus? How can we be so unfaithful and violent?

Our abuse of the Savior definitely proves we need a savior. In this Holy Week, we must repent and radically change our lives. Like the good thief, we must change from blasphemy (see Mt 27:44) to commitment. Like the centurion, we must no longer rationalize our sins but admit that Jesus is innocent and we are guilty of putting to death the innocent God-Man (Lk 23:47; Catechism, 598). In confessing our sins, we will give glory to God (see Lk 23:47).

Like Joseph of Arimathea, we can repent of giving in to fear and being a "secret" disciple of Jesus (Jn 19:38). During this Holy Week, we can become another Simon of Cyrene and carry the daily cross (Lk 9:23) with Jesus. The way of the cross is over for Jesus but continues for us. Holy Week is now. Repentance is now.

Prayer:  "Lord, let me walk that lonely road with You under the weight of the wood."

Promise:  "Morning after morning He opens my ear that I may hear." —Is 50:4

Praise:  "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!" (Mt 21:9)

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Effects of Sin on audio AV 81-3 or video V-81.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 26, 2009

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