for Sunday, March 20, 2016
The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ gives us the account of the last events before His death on the Cross. The first reading today is always from the Prophet Isaiah. This reading shows us that even before Christ, holy people could begin to understand that someone could give His life for others and accept suffering for others. The challenge for us who believe in Jesus is always the same: am I willing to suffer so that others will not suffer or will not suffer so much?
The second reading is from the Letter to the Philippians and teaches us the same lesson, adding that God is even willing to take on our humanity, to suffer with us and for us—and ultimately willing to die so that we might live. Are we willing to die so that others might live?
Then we return to the Passion of Jesus, this year from the Gospel of Saint Luke. How terrible it is to watch a person die in agony! How much worse when it is a person who is being killed or murdered by others who mistreat Him! Most of us never have to see the reality of someone being put to death, yet even today people are being killed and murdered in the name of God. We need to united our awareness of Christ with the awareness of so many people in our world today who suffer because they believe, who died because they believe—who are more willing to die for their faith than to renounce their faith.
In the midst of suffering, perhaps we can finally understand that there is a God who loves us so very much! God is willing to become one of us and die as one of us so that we might live. The challenge for all of us is so simple: do I want to live? Do I want to follow the way of the Lord? Living will cost me my life. Let us walk with the Lord!
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Isaiah 50.4-7
Second Reading: Philippians 2.6-11
Gospel: Luke 22.14 – 23.56
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: