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Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion - Cycle B

Mark 14:1-15:47


Pilate questioned him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ He said to him in reply, ‘You say so.’ (Mark 15:2)

In the Passion of Jesus and the culmination of His death and burial, I wondered anew that Jesus knew this plan of salvation. With His obedience, there was no changing of the plan set in motion. Therefore, the invitation for each person in the Gospel was to say “yes” in some way and trust in him. The reality is they all respond with questions and fear.


Who in this passage is not in some way acting out their own plans because of a fear of the uncertainty and unpredictability of this man, Jesus? In my own pondering, the Holy Spirit brought a greater awareness of how too often my responses are rooted in fear. An underlying lack of trust that the Lord has a plan in mind, for my good, my salvation, and his love to be better known.  Fear-driven like these men, I have put into action something I think is better and to avoid pain, humiliation, challenges, etc. Instead of leaning into Him with trust, I allow insecurity to lead me away from remembering Who He is and his love for me. The Jesus before us in the Gospel is not the typical image of God. He is disfigured, uglied, tortured, silent; I would question as many of them did, “how can this man, or these events, be of God?” 


When on first appearance a situation or person presents as an inconvenience, or God does not appear present as I would expect Him to, am I still willing to trust Him instead of my fear? If I lean into His constant and perfect desire for my good and salvation, then perhaps I will be more obedient and willing to embrace what lies before me. In remembering Jesus’ words, his prediction of his passion, his miracles (including resurrection), I might more easily have the simplicity of faith and purity of vision to recognize what comes before me as part of his plan. Jesus chose to humble himself, to be mocked, stripped, then crucified. I pray we may all have the grace to recognize Christ before us in the circumstances and people we encounter this Holy Week. To receive the graces to accept him in whatever way he chooses to come, because he comes for our salvation. 

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