“My God, My God, why have you deserted me?”
During Palm Sunday, we see Jesus enter into his own city Jerusalem for our salvation. To welcome Him into the city, the people spread garments and leafy branches on the road crying out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our Father David that is coming! Hosanna in the highest!’ (Mark 11:10)
As we approach Palm Sunday, we are reminded of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It commemorates the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-9), when palm branches were placed in his path, before his arrest on Holy Thursday and his crucifixion on Good Friday. It thus marks the beginning of Holy Week, the final week of Lent.
It is during the Gospel reading that we have the final surrender of Jesus to His Father. Making the connection of this surrender for us in our contemporary society is not always easy. A reflection by Sr Hilda Scott provides significant insight in to surrendering to Jesus. Below is a transcript of her reflection:
How many times have you, or someone close to you, cried out those same words. The parent whose child (no matter what age) has been taken from the drug addict in a state of withdrawal, the person wracked with mental illness, the lonely man who checks the junk mail on his computer because at least there, someone will have remembered him, or the refugee living in no man’s land and looking at the face of his infant child.
On Good Friday, when Jesus died, he surrendered himself to you, and no matter what you think of yourself, that is irreversible.
I believe the story of the death of Jesus is told again and again in the lives of so many. In fact, that is the only valid place from which to read this story. Brother Christian de Chergé OCSO, the martyred 1996 Cistercian monk who knew his death was imminent wrote, “ I ask them to accept that the Sole Master of all life was not a stranger to this brutal departure… I ask them to be able to link this death with the many other deaths which were just as violent, but forgotten through indifference and anonymity” (Facing a Goodbye).
When venerable Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan (1928 – 2002) was in prison in Vietnam, a sympathetic guard brought him a small piece of wood and some bits of electrical wire. From these, he fashioned a cross which transmitted to him an eternal message of consolation. One night, he remembered a story he had been told about “Old Jim”. Every day at midday, Jim would go into the church for two minutes and pray. The sacristan was intrigued and asked him one day what he was doing. He said he was praying. “But what kind of prayer can you say in two minutes?” “Me simple man,” Jim replied “I just say, ‘Jesus, here Jim,’ and I go.
He kept it up all his life, and in his final stay in hospital he visited and lifted the spirits of everyone else there. One day, someone asked him how he could keep doing it. He said, “It easy when you have visitor.” “But, you don’t have visitors?” The person replied. “Yeah, every day at midday Jesus come to me. He say, ‘Jim, here Jesus’.”
At times when his strength failed, Cardinal Francis explained he would hold his cross and repeat, “Jesus, here Francis.” Consolation would come and he knew Jesus was replying, “Francis, here Jesus.”
In his crying out, Jesus was calling to his Father, and his Father was replying to his heart, “Jesus, here Father.”
If you too, get to know the Jesus of today’s account and cry out to him, your situation may not change, but you will.
If you, too, get to know the Jesus of today’s account and cry out to him, your situation may not change, but you will. And here comes the final truth for which you have been prepared all Lent. You have surrendered yourself to God. On Good Friday, when Jesus died, he surrendered himself to you, and no matter what you think of yourself, that is irreversible.
Surrender Lenten Program – Wollongong Diocese
The Easter Triduum is one celebration of its nature in the Church’s Liturgical Year. The sign of the cross is made at the beginning of the mass of the Last Supper and no blessings until the final blessing at the Vigil Mass of the Resurrection.
Holy Thursday begins a tense moment. We celebrate Jesus’ institution of two sacraments – Holy Orders and Holy Eucharist. In washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus commissioned them to a life of service. In instituting the Eucharist, He commissioned them to make these mysteries continually present. During the mass of oils in the Cathedral, the priests renew their vows to their bishop and the mass of the Last Supper celebrated in parishes. After supper, Jesus goes to the garden of Olives for intense prayer. Jesus invites us to spend a moment with Him in prayer. It is here that Judas finds and betrays Him with a kiss, meant to be a love gesture. The arrest follows.
Good Friday is ‘good’ because it holds the Hour for which Jesus came. The crown that exalted His entry in Jerusalem now screaming out, “Crucify Him!” Jesus submits to the torture because He knows how much debt our sins have caused in God’s love. We draw this memory in the Stations of the Cross and the celebration of the Lord’s Passion at the ninth hour (3 o’clock).
Holy Saturday is a low tone day, waiting for the vigil celebrations. As we mourn and try to comprehend the reality of Jesus’ death, we join with the entire Church in prayer – Divine Office.
Easter Vigil is the night in which light and life dawns. Light emerges out of darkness, life out of the barrow of death. Victory over sin and death giving us new hope of eternal life. Jesus emerges as a Saviour and Lord in the glory of the Resurrection. Let us all celebrate these events with renewed and invigorated hearts.
(Article from the newsletter of Our Lourdes Parish Earlwood)
No matter who we are, we experience pain, failure and tragedy. We all have a story to tell – just like Jesus did on the cross. Easter reminds us that Jesus is with us at all times, especially in failure. It reminds us that there is no human tragedy that can’t be touched by His presence and transformed by the power of His love. I hope that over the Easter period you are touched by the love of our risen Lord.
In the final week of our collection for Caritas Australia, I would encourage all families to continue to give generously so that we can meet our target to support over 700 students. This week we meet Psyche from the Philippines. She was featured in Project Compassion in 2008 where she lived in a squatter settlement on the edge of a giant rubbish dump outside Manila. In 2018, thanks to the support from Project Compassion, Psyche was able to go to school and become a social worker. It is by raising as much money as we can that we as a community can also assist other young people like Psyche. To read more about the work of Caritas Australia in the Philippines go to http://www.caritas.org.au/projectcompassion/weekly-stories/week-6-Psyche-Mae
On behalf of the College, I would like to thank Miss S Berridge for her commitment and dedication to St Dominic’s College. Miss Berridge has been successful in being appointed to a full time position at St Mark’s Catholic College, Stanhope Gardens. We thank her for all her great work and pray that her experience at St Dominic’s College has been rewarding and inspiring for the next part of her teaching career.
Please pray the St Dominic Savio prayer for all our Y12 students who are preparing for their Semester One examinations.
Let Your Light Shine
Mr M. Ronchetti