Today is the most solemn day of the Church’s year as we reflect upon the death of the Son of God on a cross. This remarkable event signals for us the final act of the drama of our salvation as it is won for us by Christ. His death catapults the world into crisis – what have we done in crucifying the Son of God? Yet too little attention is given to this question today. Where is our wonder and amazement at the birth of Christ in the midst of the materialism of Christmas? It seems we lose the mystery of the Incarnation in the midst of the busyness of tinsel and glitter, food and reunions, giving and receiving. And today the mystery is much deeper and far more profound in that it ushers in the reality of our salvation from sin! It would seem that there is little hope that we will properly reflect upon the significance of the event we celebrate.
Yet there are signs of hope. The Churches are packed for Palm Sunday as everyone seeks a splash of the holy water for their palm branch and their bodies. However, these external realities will not satisfy the hunger within that yearns for reconciliation with our Creator. The call to repentance and conversion must take centre stage if we are going to satisfy that hunger; and if we do not satisfy that hunger our souls will continue to cry out in travail for the mercy and redemption of our God. This is a time to stop what we are doing and ask ourselves whether or not we have our focus in life right! It is a time to ask ourselves about the meaning of our lives and whether there is anything there.
The celebration of the death of Jesus is an event that we should keep close to our hearts and reflect upon daily in our minds and prayer says St Alphonsus de Ligouri. He is right as without the decision to keep the cross at the forefront of our thoughts it will recede to the back and become one of the forgotten and defunct memories of our lives. Our faith demands a significant place in our lives. Today’s celebration more than any other is worthy of all the time and energy wee can give to it!
Have I prepared well for the Easter celebrations this year or have I let other things in life govern my attention? Have I neglected my faith in the past year?
Lord Jesus, you are the Redeemer of the World and the Lord of my life. Help me to set aside the time necessary to nourish my relationship with you properly.