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With today’s celebration, we enter into the mysteries of Holy Week. It is called “holy” because we consecrate these next seven days to the Lord — we separate out this week from the rest of the year for special prayers, meditations and remembrances of our Lord’s last days, his death and his resurrection. We ask for the blessing of Jesus in a special way as we recall how he suffered for us out of love, died to forgive our sins with outstretch arms on the cross, and then rose again to become the first fruits of resurrected life, a life that he promises to those who follow him in faith.
Jesus reverses the disobedience of Adam and Eve. He becomes obedient to the Father “even unto death.” Rather than deny his relationship with the Father, he will remain true to his Father, even though it will cost him his life. He did what none of us could do. He won for us, by his sacrificial forgiveness, the redemption of our souls. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Is it any wonder, then, as we read the Passion of our Lord from the Gospel of Mark today, when we come to the words, “Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last,” that we kneel down and pause in remembrance?
We should remain silent in the face of God’s great sacrifice. We should be in awe of what God did for us.
The story of the Passion of Jesus is the story of God’s desire for us to find salvation. Nothing will keep God away from us, except a closed heart. He will even go to the length of dying for us, in order to raise us up again. The cross, an instrument of death, has become a symbol of love found in the Body and Blood of his only begotten Son, the same Body and Blood that we offer to the Father at every Holy Mass as a sign of our love for Him.
So when we come before the image of Jesus on the cross, let us bow down before him and proclaim for all to hear, “Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Have a blessed week everyone. May we set it apart and keep it holy.