Through Suffering To Glory

25 Mar

“No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.”  ~ William Penn

Today is a rough day and it begins a rough week. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the time we remember the passion and death of Jesus Christ. It is only through this week that we also come to next Sunday, the celebration of the resurrection.

I have long thought that Palm Sunday is a tragic reminder of the fickle nature of God’s people. After all, we begin the Mass with the reading of the Gospel where Jesus enters Jerusalem in great pomp and glory. The people all clamor to see Him. They shout “Hosanna!” to Him as He comes down the streets. They are quick to acclaim Him as their ruler and pledge themselves to Him.

Yet, a brief time later, these same people are crying louder, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”

This tragedy plays itself out over and over again in our own lives. For we, too, shout out our praises to the Lord. We gather in worship each Sunday and sing our praises to God. Yet, we join the crowds lashing out against Jesus each and every time that we sin. Succumbing to temptation is a step away from Jesus. When we sin, we reject the rule of the Lord and accept the rule of the world and the one who is over the world.

Sin has no place in our lives. It cannot save us. It cannot redeem us. It cannot give us hope. All sin can do is corrupt us and, ultimately, destroy our relationship with the Lord. That is why we are called, on a continual basis, to reject temptation and sin and come back to the Lord.

Jesus did not go through his trial, persecution, suffering, and death for Himself. Jesus went through all that He did for our sake. He suffered and died — and rose again — so that we might have hope restored. Jesus accomplished His mission. Now, it is up to us to accept the rule of the Lord and reject the rule of the world.

If we find it too easy to cave to temptation and to sin, perhaps it is time to come to the Lord and seek His forgiveness. Confessions have been offered throughout our deanery for the past couple of weeks. There are still some chances this week as well as a “last minute” chance at our parish this coming Wednesday. Confession is still one of the best ways to prepare ourselves spiritually for the celebration of Easter.

Whatever you do, make sure that you are ready to celebrate the victory of the Lord this coming weekend.

FAITH ACTION:  Do what you need to do to be ready for the celebration of Easter.