Next Sunday’s Readings – March 20, 2016 –
Luke 19:28-40 Isaiah 50:4-7 Philippians 2:6-11 Luke 22:14-23:56
During Lent many people walk and pray the Way of the Cross. That devotion, as well as the liturgy and Scriptures, are meant to be a rehearsal for us. Every disciple of Jesus is called to follow him on the way of the cross. It’s not that only Christians encounter crosses. Suffering and death are an unavoidable part of being human. Even the wealthy encounter false accusations, power struggles, and moral dilemmas, as Jesus did. All who take the risk of loving also risk being disappointed, betrayed, and abandoned, as Jesus was. Everyone will experience anguish, pity, and finally, death. We don’t really have a choice about suffering. The choice we have is how we will suffer the trials of life. Will we follow Jesus’ way of innocence, loving service, forgiveness, and courage? If we do, we will discover that the way of discipleship is the way to eternal life.
Palm Sunday is only the beginning of our week-long liturgical celebration of the way of discipleship. The liturgies of Holy Week recall the events that revealed both the depth of God’s love for humankind and the way to eternal life. On Holy Thursday we ritually recommit ourselves to following Jesus’ way of loving service. On Good Friday we reclaim the gift of Jesus’ life for us and join our prayers with his for the salvation of the world. On Holy Saturday we remember God’s work of creation and redemption, with an emphasis on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Then we participate in the sacraments that join us to new life in Christ: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. At last, on Easter Sunday we rejoice in the new and eternal life that flows from following Christ—the Way, the Truth, and the Life.