Today’s second reading is my reflection material. I was not sure why I picked it, but I did. I thought, at most, I could write maybe four or five sentences. So I asked God to help me, and then prayed to Him and to Mary, my heavenly Queen and mother. When the Holy Spirit hits you, he can hit hard!! I honestly believe this is one of the best reflections I have ever had. What a way to start Holy Week!
Today is “Palm Sunday.” Mass was super, and the kids did not complain at all.
Today’s reflection is about Jesus’ relationship with God.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.
Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NAB Phil. 2:6-11)
To me, this particular part of the second reading for today had a lot of verbal tongue twists. Unless read slowly, and intentionally, this reading could be fairly confusing. Basically, for me, I read it as, “Jesus did not believe equality with God could be achieved, as God is so superior to us sinners. Jesus came as a poor, lowly laborer that was humble and obedient. Jesus was obedient to God regardless of what was asked for Him to do: an unconditionally obedience. God loved Jesus; and all believers will grow to love Him as they love God in heaven. All will declare Him our Lord, Jesus Christ!”
In the first part of these bible verses, the subject of every verb is Jesus Christ; and in the last verses, the subject is God. It has a rhythmic quality with a general pattern of Jesus Christ first being humiliated, by being crucified; and then exalted by all creation as divine.
There is an obvious reference to Jesus’ pre-existence noted, and to certain aspects of divinity that He gave up, to serve in human form. Taking the form of a “slave,” and coming in human likeness is a statement of faith for us Christians. For us to believe in Jesus as totally divine AND totally human is a hard concept to grasp. No one can be 200% of themselves. No one, of sane mind, can be two actual people in one body. Schizophrenia is the condition when one thinks they are two people. Jesus did not THINK He was two people; He knew He was human and divine!
The name “Lord,” reveals the true nature of Jesus. Jesus is the “Incarnate Word” of God. Let’s go back to Genesis: “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God.” Jesus, being the incarnate WORD, places Jesus with God from the beginning.
Are you starting to feel like you’re watching a ping-pong game: BOING, BOING, and BOING? What came first, the chicken or the egg? Let me use water to explain this basic tenet of Catholicism. H2O is water, regardless of its state in nature: fluid, ice, or steam. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit have all, ALWAYS, existed! Three separate forms of one God!
A reference to the three levels in the universe, according to ancient belief, is address in this reading as well. Every knee in heaven, on earth, and under the earth will bend at just a mention of the name “Jesus Christ.” And every tongue will declare that Jesus, the Christ (Messiah), is “Lord” of heaven and earth since the beginning, and forever!
“God, you are my heavenly Father. Lord Jesus, I love you with all my heart and soul. I wish to follow in your footsteps forever. May the Holy Spirit reside in me all my days, and guide me in your love always. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Catholic Saint of the Day: St. Venturino of Bergamo
Dominican preacher and missionary crusader. A native of Bergamo, Italy, he joined the Dominicans in 1319 and soon distinguished himself as a brilliant preacher, attracting huge crowds throughout northern Italy. Pleased with his ability to reach large numbers of believers, he announced in 1335 his intention to go on a pilgrimage to Rome. When Pope Benedict XII (r. 1334-1342) learned of the pilgrimage, he feared Venturino might be planning to crown himself pope, and so forbade the friar to proceed. This decree was joined by one issued by the Dominicans themselves at the Chapter in London (1335). Ignorant of these bans, Venturino proceeded to Rome and then to Avignon where he was arrested and imprisoned until 1343. He is also known for helping to organize a crusade, at the behest of Pope Clement VI (r. 1342-1352), against the Turks who were then menacing Europe. Feast day is March 28.
(From http://www.catholic.org/saints/ website)
Prologue to Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule, Chapter 1:
… Oh, how glorious it is to have a great and Holy Father in heaven! Oh, how glorious it is to have such a beautiful and admirable Spouse, the Holy Paraclete.
Oh, how glorious it is to have such a Brother and such a Son, loved, beloved, humble, peaceful, sweet, lovable, and desirable above all: Our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave up his life for his sheep (cf. Jn 10:15) and prayed to the Father saying: …