Our Life in Christ

By Sister Rosa Sofía Toledo, MHSH, Venezuela

Palm Sunday—the beginning of Holy Week and the celebration of the central mystery of our faith:  the Paschal mystery, the Passion, the death and Resurrection of Jesus.

Palm Sunday in the town of Manzanita, in the state of Lara, Venezuela.

On this day, let us pause to contemplate and commemorate the triumphal entrance of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem.  He rode on a donkey; the crowds spread their palm branches on the street and shouted: “Hosanna to the Son of David.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”  On this day we celebrate with joyful acclamations to Jesus, our victorious king, who enters Jerusalem to fulfill the will of his Father.

Yet, what today is a joyful acclamation, tomorrow will be betrayal and death. Palm Sunday invites us to contemplate the beginning of Jesus’ Passion and death.

Have you ever experienced a sense of betrayal and rejection after having a joyful encounter with someone?  Have you ever felt a bitter disappointment that took you by surprise?

Jesus endured everything we go through as human beings—except sin.  He experienced the betrayal of Judas, the denial of Peter, the abandonment of the disciples when he was most alone.  Jesus must have felt that his mission was a failure and that he had been forsaken by his Father during his darkest moments.  Yet, through it all, Jesus remained faithful and obedient to his Father out of love.  “There is no greater love than the one who gives one’s life for one’s friends.”

What does it mean to you to be faithful to Jesus through bad times and good times?  What is one of the greatest challenges you have faced? What speaks of God’s fidelity to you?

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul tells us: “Your attitude must be that of Christ” [2:5].

The saving power of God is being manifested in Christ, who humbled himself, obediently accepting death on the cross.  Because of that, God highly exalted him, and the glory of the Father was manifested in his Resurrection.

We are invited to put on the heart and mind of Christ Jesus, growing in the awareness of our false self to find our true self in him.  We are also invited to embrace the healing power of Christ to lift us up:  from sin to grace; from spiritual blindness to a new consciousness; from carelessness of our planet Earth to a new awareness that we are part of the Earth and that it is a part of us.  In this way, we can taste and see the joy of his rising from death to new life in us.

Our life in Christ invites us to experience his sufferings through  our brothers and sisters who are victims of domestic and institutional violence, addictions, illnesses, poverty, prejudice and injustice.  Ours is a world threatened by fear, insecurity, individualism, competition, consumerism and pleasures.

Having the same attitude as Christ Jesus is a response to a call to participate in his Mission:  “Touching lives, changing lives.”

What is your unique call to embrace the heart and mind of Christ Jesus?

How can you be a joyful witness to his Resurrection in a world crying out for redemption by Christ Jesus?

“See, I am doing something new!  Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”

                                                                                                                       [Isaiah 44:19]

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3 Responses to Our Life in Christ

  1. dolly says:

    Dear Rosa,

    Thank you for your reflection on Palm Sunday. It has touched my heart and challenges me to walk this human journey with Jesus.

  2. Marilyn Dunphy says:

    Rosa, thank you for this reflection and invitation for all of us to enter deeply into this Holy Week. You have paved the way for us to take the events of this week and to ponder anew the example and message of Jesus. All of us have experienced moments of triumph and moments of agony. Whether we now feel faith-filled, confident and healed or doubtful, confused and wounded, there is so much grace to be obtained during this time. I can only second your invitation for people to enter into the scriptures of this week – to “be” at the table with Jesus at the Last Supper, to experience Jesus washing your feet, to be with him in the Garden, to witness as he is interrogated and condemned, to deny Jesus as Peter did, to follow on the road to Calvary, to decide whether to flee from the foot of the cross or stay at the cross, to hear with your own ears his agonized question “my God, why have you abandoned me?” In entering into the scriptures of this week, each of us can personally encounter Jesus in his experiences as well as our own, and learn more about the heart and mind of Christ.

  3. The picture of Nixson with the burro and the people in procession brought me back to Manzanita. I found that your reflections enriched the material we received last Friday, April 15th. The questions in bold print as well as the last quote, “See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” go hand in hand with the material for community days. Mil gracias Hermanita! Feliz Pascua a toda mi gente! Mary Ita

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