Dominica II Passionis seu In Palmis - Letting the Passion Inspire Us


RECOGNITION - Does the Passion move us?

Every time we pass by a crucifix in our homes, in church, in Catholic schools, it’s a reminder to us of Christ’s Passion. But does it remind us? There is an old expression, “familiarity breeds contempt”. Perhaps that’s a bit strong, but it certainly does breed apathy, even complacency. When was the last time that Our Lord’s Passion truly moved us, made an impression on us, inspired us to true sorrow and compuction for our sins, caused us to shed a tear for the suffering Christ?
Sadly, without effort on our part, the important things of life, the truly important things, move into the background. The crucifix becomes a decoration in our homes, a piece of jewellery around our necks, but fails to have an impact on our spiritual lives. This week gives us a chance to change that, to bring the meaning of the Lord’s Passion back to the forefront of our minds and our hearts. This week should be an opportunity for us to move that reality into pride of place in our spiritual lives, to the point where it can once again move and inspire us.

INVOLVEMENT - The value of a tear

A little girl named Catharine used to attend a school taught by nuns. One day the sister who was in charge of the school was giving the children an instruction on the sufferings of Our Blessed Redeemer, to which the little girl listened with the greatest attention.
“My children,” she said, “one tear shed through compassion for the sufferings of Jesus is of far greater value before God than almost anything else we can do.”
Catharine heard these words, and the next day, when she went to Holy Mass, she kept her eyes fixed on the cross, and thought of the cruel sufferings which Our Lord endured for the love of us.
Very soon tears began to run down her cheeks. “Oh my dear Jesus,” she said, “I wish I could suffer something instead of you.”
The Sister heard these words, and saw her weeping. “My child,” she said, “what is the matter with you?”
“I am weeping because I am sorry to see Jesus suffering so much.”
The Sister remembered the instruction she had given to the children the day before, and she too wept with joy to see a tear shed through love for Jesus crucified.
When was the last time that the Passion of Our Blessed Lord moved us in such a way? Has it ever moved us to sorrow? This week is the time to bring our minds back to Our Lord’s sufferings.

IMPLICATION - Seeing the Passion with fresh eyes

The Passion of Christ should be an inspiriation for our souls, but it so often fails to move us because we encounter it so frequently. This week gives us an opportunity to look upon Our Lord’s sufferings with fresh eyes.
There are many different ways we can contemplate the Passion this week, and differing ways can have different value for us based upon our temperament and personality.
For the more imaginative person, it could be as simple as reading and reflecting on a meditation on the Passion, allowing the image to come to us in our minds, placing ourselves on Golgotha, seeing the sufferings of Our Lord, the sorrow of our Blessed Mother.
For the more visual person, meditating on the Cross, or another image of the Passion can call to mind just how much Our Lord suffered for us. Even a movie on the life of Christ or on the Passion might serve to remind us of the depths of Our Lord’s suffering.
For all of us, of course, we can make an effort to attend the entire Paschal Triduum, seeing and hearing the account of Our Lord’s final hours, and the depth of His love for us.
So often the Passion of Our Lord gets pushed to the back of our minds, so often the crucifix fails to inspire us to sorrow and contrition. This week, we have an opportunity to look upon Our Lord’s sufferings with fresh eyes, let us not waste the opportunity.
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