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Sunday, March 24, 2002

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Passion (Palm) Sunday

Entrance Procession: Matthew 21:1-11
Isaiah 50:4-7
Philippians 2:6-11
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24

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that's a no-know?

Peter "began cursing, and swore, 'I do not even know the Man!' " —Matthew 26:74

Peter was privileged to know Jesus in ways not granted to the other disciples (see Mt 16:17; Mt 14:29; Mt 17:1; Mk 5:37; Mt 26:37). If anyone was in a position to know Jesus intimately, Peter was. He knew Jesus the Messiah, Teacher, Deliverer, Raiser of the dead, and Master of the crowds. Yet, on Good Friday, Peter saw a Man before him standing bound, captive, mocked, and silent before His accusers. When asked about his association with this Prisoner, Peter answered: "I do not even know the Man" (Mt 26:74). Certainly, Peter spoke words of cowardice and denial. Yet, there is a profound truth to Peter's statement: he did not know Jesus, the Suffering Servant, Who was standing before him.

Paul was privileged to see Jesus and converse with Him (see Acts 9:4-5; 18:9-10; 9:16; 2 Cor 12:1-4). Paul knew Jesus in a way that few human beings will ever experience. However, Paul said: "I wish to know Christ" (Phil 3:10). Paul realized that his human lifespan was insufficient to completely know the God-Man.

Perhaps you feel that you know Jesus personally and intimately. Even so, the Passion Sunday readings challenge you to take a new look at the Unknown One. Humbly bow before Him during the upcoming Holy Week. Ask Him: "Do I really know You?" He will look at you (Lk 22:61), and your life with Him will never be the same.

Prayer:  "May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ...grant you a spirit of wisdom and insight to know Him clearly" (Eph 1:17).

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:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001