We just returned home from Mass where we remembered both Jesus coming into Jerusalem to a joyful and hopeful crowd waiving palm branches as well as recalling how quickly the mood turned from celebration to sorrow with a reading of The Passion. The church was almost packed this morning as there are always more people present for Palm Sunday and Easter than other times during the year (with the exception of Christmas.) And, little kids (including my own 5 year old son) were antsy and continually asking when we would be done as this is a longer than average Mass. However, it is one that I love as you get a glimpse of the Triduum in under 2 hours.
Christ Coming into Jerusalem showed how much the Jewish people longed for someone to save them from oppressors. They created a party atmosphere for that entrance into the city as they proclaimed their love for someone they hoped would bring a new kingdom to the land.
Do we look towards an individual or group to ‘save’ us from oppression in our lives? When we look for this salvation, are we only looking for temporal change rather than an everlasting life in paradise?
Praying at Gethsemane, Christ showed his humanity and the desire to avoid the pain and suffering He knew was coming.
He showed that even though He was fully God and knew death to His body would not be the end of His life, he still asked to avoid the inevitable.
How quick are we to ask God to remove people or situations in our life that bring with them suffering which takes us away from a place of comfort?
Through The Passion, we recall all the pain and suffering as well as public humiliation Christ suffered for us. Yet, he walked the path laid before Him by the Father with a dignity many of us would fail to show. Even through the steps he took, Christ had some people coming forward to help in their own way to bear a small portion of his burden (e.g. Simon of Cyrene who was pulled from the crowd to help physically carry the cross or Veronica to comfort him in a small way by wiping away the blood and sweat from His face.)
As much as I might like to think I could bear any suffering thrown my way, I know deep in my heart that I do not have the strength within me to bear it with that level of dignity. However, I do know that God is ever present and does not expect me to carry a burden alone.
When faced with adversity in my life, do I struggle to bear the burden alone or do I accept the help of others as well as seeking in prayer the Grace to sustain me as I walk the path?
For our parish, the Mass also ended with news of our pastor returning to his home Diocese this summer and the unusual announcement from our Archbishop that he will be our pastor with a soon to be newly ordained priest serving as associate pastor. Change can be difficult (I know Father Tom is a constant presence for my youngest son and he often acted like Fr. Tom was a rock star when he was a toddler), but it can also usher in the opportunity for growth. While I, too, will feel some sadness at seeing him go in a few short months, I am looking forward to seeing how God will use this change to help everyone grow in both community and relationship with Him.
This year, I am joining Trish @ A House Upon the Rock in co-hosting the 40 Days of Seeking Him meme. The linky will be up each week so you can add in posts daily, weekly, or whenever you are able. The posts can be about anything related to Lent and preparing for Easter ~ crafts, food, devotions, music or reflections are all welcomed. I hope that my readers will join us on the journey through Lent as we seek to grow closer to Christ. Christian bloggers are welcome to join us in the weekly link up with posts that they are writing to showcase activities or reflections taken during this Lenten journey. Visit 5th Full Week of Lent (2015): Where Do We Seek God? to check out posts by me or other bloggers or add your own to the link up.
How do you spend the final days leading up to Easter?
What struggles this Lent have helped you to grow closer in relationship with God?