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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, April 13, 2014

By Jeff Hensley
Catholic News Service

April 13, Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion

Cycle A. Readings:

(Procession with Palms) Matthew 21:1-11

1) Isaiah 50:4-7

Psalm: 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24

2) Philippians 2:6-11

Gospel: Matthew 26:14 to 27:66 or Matthew 27:11-54

I have been daunted by the task of writing about this week's readings. Jesus' passion moves me deeply and convinces me just as deeply that nothing I write can add to the impact of the words of the Scriptures here.

But perhaps that is just what qualifies any of us to speak sorrowfully and with awe of how Jesus offered himself for us. After asking the Father if there was any way this sacrifice might not be necessary to accomplish the Father's goal of redeeming humanity, Jesus accepts the answer and squarely faces his accusers.

We are left to identify with his sleepy followers who could not remain awake as Jesus prayed, sweating blood, there in the olive grove.

We are left to identify with Peter who promised much and delivered little, denying Jesus three times before the rooster crowed out the dawn after that long night of agony as Jesus faced his accusers.

And therein lies our hope and our redemption. Just as Jesus did what he did, willingly, for these weak followers, we need not abandon hope in what we may ultimately do in service to God and others simply because our feet have slipped on the path, or we have fallen or we fall repeatedly.

Paul says in the Philippians reading: "Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

"Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

We ultimately fail only if we fix our eyes on our shortcomings instead of on the one who gave his all for us.


Do you have the courage to look to Jesus for the strength you need to proceed in loving service to him and others?


"Truly, this was the Son of God!" -- Matthew 27:54c


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