Welcoming the Holy

Here we invite you to take time for yourself in personal prayer. The following spiritual reflection offers words and images which we hope will evoke for you an experience of God. 


 

Opening Prayer

Merciful Jesus, through this Lenten season we have sought to grow more faithful in living by Your example and the teachings of the Gospel. Today we begin Holy Week, the time when we remember and celebrate Your Paschal Mystery. Please open our hearts, deepen our desire to live as You desire, and by Your grace transform our lives. We pray confident in Your unconditional love. Amen.

Reading

Luke 19:28-40 Jesus proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem. As he drew near to Bethany…he sent two of his disciples. He said, “Go into the village opposite you, and as you enter it you will find a colt tethered. Untie it and bring it here…" So they brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks over the colt, and helped Jesus to mount. As he road along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road; and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of his disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen. They proclaimed: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.”

 

Reflection

On this Palm Sunday we hear the story of how Jesus entered Jerusalem on this special day. It was not just an ordinary visit to the city. Tensions were high. Jesus’ teaching and miracles had angered Jewish leaders – and Jesus realizes the risk he’s taking. He is NOT the Messiah, the warrior and King they have awaited.

No, Jesus enters riding on a colt – a symbol of how different his values and mission are from their expectations. The other readings today describe images of Jesus’ suffering and self-emptying love. Jesus felt pain from the betrayal by his own disciples, and then excruciating physical pain, but the story does not end with Jesus’ death. God raised him on the third day, on that glorious Easter morning! His pain and death set us free! The Resurrection is the pivotal event of our faith. We now believe and hope, indeed we await our own resurrection into the fullness of life in God’s loving presence.

We also are on a journey, unique for each of us. We experience love and happiness – yet we also encounter difficulties and pain. Like Jesus, we cry out to God for help. Always God’s grace is enough for us. Our challenge is to stay close to God, to seek God’s guidance and strength – no matter what the circumstances of our lives. Indeed, people around the world are poor, hungry, homeless, treated with hatred, and violence seems to be everywhere. The earth itself groans as it struggles to bring forth new life. We share the Paschal Mystery of life, suffering and death, in our own ways. Then we share the ultimate freedom and awesome joy of Resurrection – accomplished for us by the self-emptying Love of Jesus!

Reflection Questions

Am I, like Jesus, willing to humbly live my own journey, wherever God leads me?

What do I need from God to remain faithful and loving, no matter what the circumstances of my life?

Closing Prayer

Let us go in peace and move through this Holy Week with profound thanksgiving for the depths of Your love, dear Savior of us all. May we open ourselves to receive the amazing grace and blessings that await us. May we be humble channels of Your love each day of our lives. Amen.

Sisters of Saint Joseph of Rochester

Sisters of Saint Joseph of
Rochester Motherhouse
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