I usually start my Sunday homilies with a story of some sort. But today, on this Palm Sunday, 2020, I think the best “story”—-or rather, the best “stories”—-are being told by each of you. Consider what you are all doing right now. Think about where you are. And now take a moment to look around at your loved ones who are with you. If you are alone in your home this morning, think about why you are “staying put” there.
Our current situation, like nothing we have ever seen before, is showing us, very vividly and starkly, what it means to love as Christ loved. We realize through countless examples, that what we do, the decisions we make, have an effect on other people, especially those closest to us.
We proclaim the Passion today, not only to remind us of the terrible suffering that Christ endured (even though he didn’t have to), but to also remember what comes after this difficult story. There’s a joyful ending—-a victory, not a defeat!
We pray for all those who are being directly affected by this crisis, and for those who have lost loved ones. But the Cross today isn’t something we cling to in despair. We cling to it because it is our hope. It is our anchor, not a rock tired around our neck.
Jesus went through the pain of the Cross for us. He sacrificed himself for us. In these days of uncertainty, when we’re not feeling as secure as we are used to feeling, we are asked to sacrifice. Don’t turn away from Christ in anger, rather face the Cross, and ask for the strength to do what is best for the other person.
The Passion of Christ is a powerful story of love. Let’s make our stories over these days and weeks be stories of love, sacrifice, faith, and above all, hope.
(Let me leave you with words the Holy Father shared just a few hours ago in Rome: “Life, measured by love, is meant to serve others.)