It is 25th March 2018. We celebrate the Palm Sunday and the Passion Sunday. Jesus is given a royal welcome by those who admired Him. As we enter into the Holy Week, may all truly make this week holy by the way we engage ourselves in the Paschal mysteries corporally and spiritually. It is the time to meditate very intensely the Passion and Death of our Lord leading us to His glorification. Jesus entered riding on a donkey, a symbol of peace. The people spread their cloaks and palm branches on the street and sang, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’ People enthusiastically acknowledging as if a king enters the gates after a victory. This is the time we need to reflect the final few days of Jesus on earth. The readings are from Isaiah 50:4-7; and the second reading is from Philippians 2:6-11; and the Gospel from Mark 14:1-15:47. The first reading is from the prophet Isaiah is the third Servant Song in which the Servant is not resisting the attackers and their insults. “He was oppressed and was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth. Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth” (Is 53:7). It is through this tremendous humility and obedience, He brought us salvation. The responsorial Psalm pleads and echoes the deepest prayers of the Servant: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Ps.22:2). St. Paul teaches us that Jesus gave up so much in order to become one of us. He became like a slave and a lamb who could not oppose the evil-doors. He pleased God through His humility and obedience to the will of the Father. “Therefore, God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil.2:9). We can never be poor and chaste without such obedience. The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark begins with the Passover, explains the plotting moments and the final execution. Mark confesses that Jesus is the Messiah, who sacrificed himself for the welfare of us all. Jesus was welcomed as the mighty Hero into the city by the poor and the children of God; all those who opposed Jesus and His divinity and His good works to the humanity dragged Him, ill-treated Him so violently and mercilessly cruel to His every fibre of His body, eventually disfigured Him and made Him walk the most painful journey in the human history and crucified Him. The Gospel ends with the burial of Jesus. This is exactly the way things would unfold for all the followers of Jesus. Are we going to speak out when we suffer for truth? Or are we going to accompany the Lord in our humility and obedience. May you all have a fruitful and soul-changing days ahead. May God bless you all.

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