Passion Sunday, Year A
April 13, 2014
Today we begin a very special week. The events of this week climax with the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus but we need to think about the week as a whole to understand the importance of the individual moments.
We began today with the blessing of the palms to enter into this week as Jesus entered into Jerusalem. As he entered Jerusalem he was greeted with a royal welcome fit for a king and a king he is.
As we enter into Holy Week we already know the story of the whole week. Jesus’ disciples did not but Jesus himself did. Jesus knew what God’s plan was and that he must be crucified and why.
We see that God is in control in the prophecies that are fulfilled this week beginning with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on the colt/ass.
While Jesus’ disciples fight back against Jesus’ arrest, he does not. They see it as impossible for the messiah to be treated in this way. Jesus knows it is God’s will and serves a greater purpose.
Jesus came into our world for this very purpose, emptying himself to become like us. As Son of God, Jesus knew what had to happen and accepted it. As a human being Jesus struggled with his Passion.
As Jesus prayed in the garden, he knew he was about to arrested, put on trial, and crucified. In his humanity, he did not want to suffer and prayed “My father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will but as your will.”
He prayed this not once but three times. In the end, he accepted our Father’s will.
Do we accept suffering? I do not believe all suffering comes from God. God does not cause tragedy or terrible illness but God is present with us as we walk through it.
We can pray that we do not need to suffer, that God removes our sufferings but we need to do it in a way that accepts the reality of suffering.
However, neither do I think this means that we need to run headlong into our sufferings, nor do we need to go looking for suffering.
We just need to do exactly what Jesus does. We need to pray that God might take away our suffering but that in the end, God’s will and not ours be done.
Throughout the events of the Passion, Jesus remained calm. He knew God had a plan. He even knew the details of the plan.
God has a plan for each of us. Unfortunately, we don’t know all the details but as we enter into this Holy Week, let us have the strength we need to hand our lives over to Jesus, always trusting in the love he shows for us in the passion.