April 13, 2014: Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
“We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions and requires us to eradicate racism and address the extreme poverty and disease plaguing so much of the world. Solidarity also includes the Scriptural call to welcome the stranger among us— including immigrants seeking work, a safe home, education for their children and a decent life for their families. In light of the Gospel’s invitation to be peacemakers, our commitment to solidarity with our neighbors—at home and abroad—also demands that we promote peace and pursue justice in a world marred by terrible violence and conflict…” (53) Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, USCCB
Entrance: Matthew 21:1-11
First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm: 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11
Gospel: Matthew 26:14-27:66
Catechism of the Catholic Church
“…Jesus conquers the Daughter of Zion, a figure of his Church, neither by ruse nor by violence, but by the humility that bears witness to the truth. And so the subjects of his kingdom on that day are children and God’s poor, who acclaim him as had the angels when they announced him to the shepherds. Their acclamation, ‘Blessed be he who comes in the name of the LORD, is taken up by the Church in the ‘Sanctus’ of the Eucharistic liturgy that introduces the memorial of the Lord’s Passover.” (559)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Matthew 27: 45 and 51
The entrance of Jesus Christ into the history of the world reaches its culmination in the Paschal Mystery, where nature itself takes part in the drama of the rejection of the Son of God and in the victory of his Resurrection (cf. Mt 27:45,51, 28:2). Crossing through death and grafting onto it the new splendour of the Resurrection, Jesus inaugurates a new world in which everything is subjected to him (cf. 1 Cor 15:20-28) and he creates anew those relationships of order and harmony that sin had destroyed. Knowledge of the imbalances existing between man and nature should be accompanied by an awareness that in Jesus the reconciliation of man and the world with God — such that every human being, aware of divine love, can find anew the peace that was lost — has been brought about. “Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17). Nature, which was created in the Word is, by the same Word made flesh, reconciled to God and given new peace (cf. Col 1:15-20). (454)
The unsurpassed apex of the perspective indicated here is the life of Jesus of Nazareth, the New Man, who is one with humanity even to the point of “death on a cross” (Phil 2:8). In him it is always possible to recognize the living sign of that measureless and transcendent love ofGod-with-us, who takes on the infirmities of his people, walks with them, saves them and makes them one. In him and thanks to him, life in society too, despite all its contradictions and ambiguities, can be rediscovered as a place of life and hope, in that it is a sign of grace that is continuously offered to all and because it is an invitation to ever higher and more involved forms of sharing.
Jesus of Nazareth makes the connection between solidarity and charity shine brightly before all, illuminating the entire meaning of this connection: “In the light of faith, solidarity seeks to go beyond itself, to take on the specifically Christian dimensions of total gratuity, forgiveness and reconciliation. One’s neighbour is then not only a human being with his or her own rights and a fundamental equality with everyone else, but becomes the living image of God the Father, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and placed under the permanent action of the Holy Spirit. One’s neighbour must therefore be loved, even if an enemy, with the same love with which the Lord loves him or her; and for that person’s sake one must be ready for sacrifice, even the ultimate one: to lay down one’s life for the brethren (cf. 1 Jn 3:16)”. (196)
For complete text visit:
Judas Iscariot went looking to betray Jesus, by asking the chief priests what they were willing to pay to hand him over. He was paid thirty pieces of silver, the price for a slave (Exodus 21:32), to betray Jesus. Did this not accentuate that Jesus, though the Son of God, humbled himself to the lowest societal rung? Was Judas becoming a slave to betrayal and violence by accepting the money? Did this not speak to the authority’s lack of understanding of Jesus as a liberator? Did this not show how conspiring evil is rooted in self-serving avarice? So many symbolic story lines embedded in the connotation of a slave.
The disciples experienced the first Eucharist, the bread of Jesus’ body, the cup, shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. A forgiveness they would need as their faith would be shaken and they drifted into sleep. A slumber from the reality of an evening, steeped with eternal consequences that only appeared as darkness to obscure the light of hope for them.
Jesus did not flee the culture of violence, a large crowd seeking control with piercing swords and bruising clubs sent by the authorities seeking to retain power. He did not repay violence with violence, by telling a companion to put the sword back into the sheath, for all who take the sword will parish by the sword. They perceived and treated him like a robber, for he challenged the status quo to rob it of its crafting dominance that oppressed with legality over reason. Struggling to live without physical self- defense, in a culture perpetuating fear, the disciples absorbed into the fear and fled.
The chief priests and entire Sanhedrin, in statements, condemned themselves with interpretations of blasphemy. Peter remained curious, keeping within reach of the spectacle, but chose to hide his true identity behind righteous cursing absolving association. But attempting to deny reality could only flicker a prophetic stanza to be snuffed out by the winds of truth touching human hearts. Peter remembered the words Jesus had spoken. He went from the scene of the charade and wept bitterly. Judas, the first to tangle with evil, seeing the eventual reality of his actions, deeply realized what he had done to acknowledge his sin of betraying innocence. The story continues all the way to the cross, with irony, condemnation, infused with violence towards innocence. Is the rest of the story difficult to read, for our lives are paradoxically woven into its words. But we have the benefit of hindsight to know the rest of the story that continues today. We must choose to partner with violence, evil of silencing innocence and profiting through those motives or realizing the freedom and forgiveness of the Eucharist and the cross to LIVE like we BELIEVE. Knowing we have not been abandoned by God, to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father. Today, people continue experiencing crucifixion. In faith, not fear, we must not let them singularly face false acquisitions, but in the hope of the cross bring light into darkness.
Individual Reflection: Matthew 26:14-27:66
What organization do you support that assists people crucified today, socially, culturally or economically? Share their work with ten friends to raise awareness of the conditions.
Family Reflection: Philippians 2:6-11
During the Triduum, from Holy Thursday evening through Easter, fast from unnecessary electronic communication and television to retain an essence of sacredness and reflection.
Lord, as you confronted violence in the world, may we be your hands and voices of peace. Help us to always absorb the gift of Eucharist and share the blessings. Illuminate darkness in our lives and our world, so we see ruse of fallacies. Give us courage to not live focused on self-serving greed, but prioritize service, as we trust your providence for our daily bread. Thank you for journeying to the cross and not slinking from the will of the Father, to offer us hope. In your dear name Jesus, Amen
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching offers seven principles for upholding life in our thoughts, decisions and actions.
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born March 29, 2014 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern