Dear Passionist Family group members and friends,
Palm Sunday – its significance should never be lost on us. Jesus in starting out on his ministry knew at some stage he would have to take this message with all the threats, insecurities, fears and challenges to the central city of Jerusalem. The faith centre of Judaism. It is in this place that there is on one hand a joyous reception which seemingly turns sours with his death. What possesses us humans to be so fickle and threatened.
We have seen it in our Covid experience the thankfulness of keeping Covid at bay and then with its renewed spread we cry out for our freedom and then protest no matter how this affects others. Some behaviours have seen an ugly side of humanity. We all so quickly forget how to behave and our sense of self entitlement goes to another level. Why is it that our reflection deserts us when we are in most need of it. We are continually confronted with the images of war and its’ atrocities. It leaves us breathless with how can human do this to one another. Even our wild life behaves better.
We are continually witnessing the ongoing effects of climate change with little resolve. Then we experience the effects of our isolation from others and the increase in mental illness. We forget all too easily that we are in this together and the solutions must come from that communal respect and commitment to adapt and make necessary changes. We are a global community and the effects of war, violence, injustice, hatred and financial hardship affects us all.
The Passion is in our minds and hearts and we share in it through the suffering all around us. We are not exempt from its pain and anguish and we look to the love and commitment of Jesus to understand how to respond. We must take up our life and we must hand it over. In our everyday responses to one another, the ‘Passion of Jesus’ is operating. We can support others by sharing a meal, having a picnic, visiting someone, preparing a meal and leaving it at their door, sending a note or email, a phone call or Zoom thus, making little connections; to be willing to understand that building and maintaining community is a work of love.
It is like ‘family’, we set out on an unknown journey to love and be the best we can be! Yes, we get confronted by life by the good things and the not so good things that challenge us, scare us, create anxiety and are a cause of worry and grief. Yet, through it all we trust that God will walk with us – indeed, we believe, he will.
We trust and hold onto those words of “be not afraid”. Or the words “know I am with you yes until the end of time” The garden is a place of anguish but also of hope – we enter cold and afraid and we exit believing God is with us. Therefore, this coming out of the garden is to acknowledge the fear, the losses and difficulties but also the wholesome goodness of being with others. We are called to go out and be our best for others. Our Passionist Family Groups are to be a source of ‘family’ and all that entails – the good and the bad, the joys and lonely times, the tough times where in the company of others we celebrate, laugh and cry knowing that together we can overcome these things. Faith as seeking understanding’
When St Paul of the Cross (the Founder of the Passionists) was on his death bed.
He said, “if he was not give one last sermon, it would be on the Passion of Jesus as the most overwhelming work of God’s love.”
“I’ve learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.” —Martha Washington
Have a good week – God go with you, Pau
Celine Bowman – from Passionist Northern Region Team in Australia sent this extract through her newsletter:
In relation to this everyday spirituality, I was struck by the following in a book I was reading (INNER COMPASS by Margaret Silf): In recounting stories of St Ignatius of Loyola she tells how on the day that he and his colleagues made their vows and shared Eucharist together, they then celebrated with a picnic! She reflects that “there was surely no sense of disconnection between the deep seriousness of their commitment to God and to each other and the simple, exuberant joy of their celebratory picnic.” And that, as well as the other spiritual riches from the Jesuit tradition “we might focus on that coming together of all that makes us human: our searching and desiring, our failing and falling and fun loving, our shipwrecks and our picnics.” As a member of a family group, I can relate strongly to this focus. In our “every day” style of coming together, the seeds are sown for us to come closer into a loving relationship with each other and with our God – Celine.
Palm Sunday Year C, 10 April 2022.
Scripture reflection: Into your hands I commit my spirit
We pray for true contrition in the face of the sufferings of Jesus.
First reading: Isaiah 50:4-7
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 21(22):8-9, 17-20, 23-24
Second reading: Philippians 2:6-11
Gospel: Luke 22:14 – 23:56
Link to readings – click here
This Sunday, we begin the holiest week of the Church’s liturgical year. We read two passages from the Gospels, relating how the joyful entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, accompanied by crowds who acclaim him as Saviour and King, gave way to his betrayal and death, alone and abandoned by all. The other readings help us understand the meaning of these events of the Passion.
The First Reading is one of the passages about the suffering servant of God from the book of Isaiah. As Christians, we read this as showing how Jesus lived out his patient trust in God. It can help and enable us to bear our trials and difficulties.
In Psalm 21 (22) we hear familiar echoes of the crucifixion narratives. You may like to find the whole of the psalm in your bible or online; its words of hope in the midst of great suffering, and profound trust in God, are the prayer of Jesus from the cross.
St Paul’s text is a hymn to Jesus’s life and death (Second Reading). Christ’s humility in becoming a human being was even more profound when he accepted to die a shameful death on a cross. But, as Paul writes, God raised him from death and gave him the highest name of all, so that all beings should bend the knee to Jesus and ‘acclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’
This week we accompany Jesus; we pray for the grace of an awareness of our sinfulness, and for sorrow and true contrition in the face of the sufferings of Jesus.
Humour: Dad Jokes About Science
Did you hear that I’m reading a book about anti-gravity?
It’s impossible to put down.
Which is faster, hot or cold?
Hot, because you can catch a cold.
What’s brown and sounds like a bell?
What did the photon say when asked if she needed to check a bag?
“No thanks, I’m traveling light!”
How do you organize a space party?
Did you know milk is the fastest liquid on earth?
It’s pasteurized before you even see it.
What did one ocean say to the other ocean?
Nothing, they just waved.
Why did everyone enjoy being around the volcano?
It’s just so lava-ble.
What kind of music do the planets listen to?
What did the big flower say to the tiny flower?
“Hey there bud!”