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Sunday, April 13, 2003

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Passion Sunday
(Palm Sunday)

Mark 11:1-10 (Entrance Processional)
Isaiah 50:4-7
Philippians 2:6-11
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24

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see it for the first time

"Then they crucified Him." —Mark 15:24

We hear the account of Jesus' Passion and death every Palm (Passion) Sunday and Good Friday. Everyday we look at the crucifixes prominently displayed in our churches and homes. We have crucifixes around our necks and in our pockets and purses. The purpose of this repeated exposure to the crucifix is to deepen our love for Jesus so that we will live and die for Him.

When we see the crucifix, we should be shocked that we have participated through our sins in the cruel, brutal murder of God (see Catechism, 598). We can make excuses that we did not know about the ramifications of our sins. But who did? The crucified Jesus spoke to each one of us when He prayed: "Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing" (Lk 23:34).

When we see the crucifix, we should be shocked that Jesus died specifically for us who sinned against Him (Rm 5:8) and joined with those who put Him to death. God loves and died for us, His executioners, because God is Love (see 1 Jn 4:8, 16). His crucified love is at the heart of the mystery of God.

Be shocked at the effects of your sins. Be more shocked at His crucified, mysterious love. Fix your eyes on Jesus crucified until you see Him for the first time. You will then live and die in love.

Prayer:  Father, open my eyes, heart, and life to love.

Promise:  "He was known to be of human estate, and it was thus  that He humbled Himself, obediently accepting even death, death on a cross!" —Phil 2:7-8

Praise:  "Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the reign of our father David to come! Hosanna in the highest!" (Mk 11:9-10)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, October 17, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2002