As today is Palm Sunday, in a real way this day is really all about us welcoming Christ with palms. Basically, it is about us welcoming Christ into our hearts. And we do, so much want to welcome Christ to be with us and our families! Today represents our deepest urge, our deepest desire, and our deepest and greatest need, which is to possess Christ. Christ will, of course, respond to this core desire of ours and enter in, as the Gospel proclaims to us. Actually, it is more than a decision of Christ. It is His desire too! There is an old saying that for every step we take toward Christ He takes a thousand steps toward us. We can all be secure in the thought that Christ wants very much to be with us right now, and is!
With this joyful note Holy Week begins. I say “begins” because the week will naturally continue. As it continues we see that we are offered choices. This is the week in which a tremendous sense of wholeness/holiness can be experienced by us. It all depends on the choices we make. Such choices are not all that different than that which is faced by a newly married couple who vow to be with each other through thick and thin, through all the wonderful and challenging moments both. You see, many of the disciples (and apostles!) loved being with Christ through all the wonderful times, where they could absorb His Wisdom, witness the miracles, and so on. The arrest and the eventual Crucifixion, however, was another story. At these moments many followers ran away. Some people will go the other route, praying to Christ and inviting Him in at their rough moments, but forget to keep Him in mind when life is going great. We, as a parish family, in order to stay whole (holy), need to get in touch with our deepest need for Christ this week, and then with conscious minds continue to invite Him, both in good times and in bad.
As a parish family we already know about this choice, simply because this is how families already live. Each individual family has its wonderful and challenging moments, and is committed to staying together throughout. Every parish family has the same, because it too is a family but on a larger scale. The Roman Catholic Church has its own such moments for the same reason. On a deeper spiritual level we can see that challenging moments are not simply times of sorrow; rather, they are opportunities for forgiveness. On a deeper level it is all a circle, you see. We enjoy the wonderful times, and when challenging moments take place, if we see them as reconciliatory moments, we can pass through them as if they were a door leading us back to those moments of wonder. Such a journey would make even the challenging moments those of wonder too! Forgiveness is always a wonderful moment! As this journey is really that of a family, which is what we are, please stay whole (holy) and choose Christ throughout, no matter what.
Blessings! Fr. Walter