The contrast between the beginning of the Mass on Palm Sunday with the triumphant entry into Jerusalem and the Passion of Christ where the Jewish leaders thought they had put an end to Jesus, is striking. The same crowd who welcomed Jesus with Hosannah’s now cry ‘crucify him!’ The Jewish leaders appear to have won the day, but the reality is those leaders were doomed for eternity. For them the blood of the sacrificial lambs they would smear on their door posts would no longer allow the angel of death to pass over their household; now they had the Blood of the Lamb on their hands.
Jesus, chose to go to His death to save us, we have no need to sacrifice innocent animals for our penance, because the innocent Son of God has died for us. We have no need to smear the blood of a lamb on our door posts; because we can have the Blood of Christ on our lips. Jesus gave the perfect example of self-sacrifice to demonstrate His love for us. It is hard for us to imagine loving anyone this much, but we do see examples in our lives of people who make tremendous sacrifices out of love.1
I think of a man I knew from church, who when his wife took ill looked after her until he got to a stage when he could no longer safely look after her. When they reached that stage he would visit her every day in the Care Home feeding her when she could no longer do so herself. I think of other spouses who have performed heroically in similar circumstances who do not see anything out of the ordinary in how they have supported their loved one. These people demonstrate tremendous witness to their Marriage vows and are an example to others.
We are all very aware of the sacrifices made by nurses, doctors, care workers and other medical professionals during the pandemic; who worked tirelessly to comfort and treat the sick and the dying; often keeping away from their families in an attempt to minimise the spread of the virus. These people demonstrated a Christ like love; putting others before themselves trying to save as many people as they could.
We are not all called to this type of sacrifice, but we are all called to put others first; to be selfless instead of selfish. As we remember the sacrifice of Our Saviour, may we be aware of the times when we are called to serve others and may we respond with a similar love by putting the needs of others before ourself. In this way we can do our bit to take Jesus out into the world today, one act of kindness at a time.
As mentioned in previous reflections, I am taking part in The Big Lent Walk for Cafod. The plan was to walk 200km during Lent. So far, I have walked 250km and have raised £565 for Cafod. I’d like to express my thanks for those who have sponsored me and all of those taking part in the Big Lent Walk, either as individuals or as part of Parish Groups. I still aim to get to 300km by Holy Thursday.
If you are able to donate, and would like to support me, my page is https://cafod.enthuse.com/pf/tony-darroch
All donations are gratefully received.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
CCC 557-560: Christ’s entry into Jerusalem
CCC 602-618: the Passion of Christ
CCC 2816: Christ’s kingship gained through his death and Resurrection
CCC 654, 1067-1068, 1085, 1362: the Paschal Mystery and the liturgy
Please keep in your prayers this week
- The success of the pastoral area formation programme ‘The Wild Goose’ which we are using as part of the Year of the Holy Spirit.
- Those who are sick, those recovering from surgery, those who are dying, the recently deceased and those who mourn.
- All those struggling to feed their families at this time.
- Those working to help others who are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
- All of our Parishioners preparing to receive Sacraments for the first time.
- Those attending the RCIA programme at St Bede’s on Wednesday evenings.
- Those discerning a vocation.
1Mark & Liz Dutton, I Am With You, [Two in One Flesh, Caterham, 2013]48.