Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Commentary for Passion Sunday by Sr. Carol Falkner, OSB

In this Gospel we seem to meet a moment of earthly glory for Jesus. Jesus’ reputation had gone before him. The people had heard of him and of his miracles and now were curious to see him. They were ready to pay homage to him and to proclaim him the Messiah, the long-awaited Savior. In Zechariah we read, “See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he, meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass.” (Zachariah 9:9) For a fleeting moment the people seemed to recognize their true king although Jesus knew that soon these acclamations would soon turn into accusations.

The people in darkness had seen a great light yet in the Gospel of John we are reminded that, “He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.” (John 1:10-11) Jesus, who had lived a life of integrity and challenged the people to do the same, was confronted by their hypocrisy and sinfulness. Rather than repenting and turning from their evil ways they preferred to extinguish the light.

However, the light of Christ could never be extinguished. This we celebrate on Holy Saturday night. Destroying death, he shone in the glory of the Resurrection. He won for us everlasting life! His light shines in all parts of the world, but more importantly, his light shines in our hearts if we open ourselves to his grace and blessing.

As he entered Jerusalem peacefully, he wishes to enter our hearts not by force, but tenderly bringing the grace of conversion. This is what we profess! When he knocks, let us open the door of our heart so that we might be changed by his love. Then, in turn, we will be able to take his love to others in the way we serve one another. Benedict talked of this love in Chapter 72, The Good Zeal of Monastics. He wrote, “Among themselves they show the pure love of sisters; to God, reverent love; to their prioress, unfeigned and humble love.” Our love will be defined by our acts of love. Through these acts our inner light will shine because Christ lives in us. Little by little the darkness in our world will be dispelled.

“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of God! Hosanna in the highest.” (Mark 9-10)

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