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Sunday, April 13, 2014

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Passion (Palm) Sunday

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

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"sealed with a kiss"

"The One I shall kiss is the Man; seize Him." —Matthew 26:48, RSV-CE

Many of you who read this have been kissed passionately and have experienced the love and intimacy which accompanies such a kiss. Some of you have also been treated with indifference or even have been betrayed by the same person who kissed you earlier. Imagine, then, how Jesus felt in being kissed by Judas, His betrayer. Even so, Jesus never stopped loving Judas. He even addressed Judas as "Friend" after Judas sealed Jesus' death with a kiss (Mt 26:50).

On this Palm Sunday, we open our lips to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. In effect, we receive a eucharistic kiss from Jesus (see Sg 1:2). Will we kiss Jesus with a kiss of loving intimacy, repentance, and commitment (see Lk 7:38), or will we give Him betrayal, indifference, and a kiss of death? (see 1 Cor 11:27-30) Will we use our lips to tell Jesus "Hosanna" today (Mt 21:9), but ignore Him later this week by living a lifestyle which opposes His teaching and which shouts "Crucify Him"? (Mt 27:22-23)

On Good Friday, in five days, we will have another opportunity to kiss the cross of Jesus in veneration. A penitent woman tearfully and lovingly kissed the feet of Jesus (Lk 7:37-38). In the same way, seal your commitment to Jesus "with the kiss of love" (1 Pt 5:14, RSV-CE).

Prayer:  "O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim Your praise" (Ps 51:17). My lips are Yours, Lord Jesus, from now on.

Promise:  "Clearly this was the Son of God!" —Mt 27:54

Praise:  "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" (Mt 21:9)

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 30, 2013

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