THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

Her Doctrine and Morals

Palm Sunday

5 April 2020

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Dear Friend,

This Holy Week we reach the pinnacle or climax of all the history of this world. The Creator became one of His own creatures — God became man. A virgin conceived and brought forth One Person Who is both God and Man — the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. He is the Son of God in His Divinity and the Son of King David in His Humanity. The culminating glory of the life of Jesus is in His Sacrifice, Death, and Resurrection.

The devils in seeking the death of Jesus brought forth spiritual life for mankind. The hatred poured out upon Jesus created ever greater compassion and mercy for sinners — "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing." (St. Luke 23:34)

Sacrifice and death are not the end but the beginning. God has taken sin, or all that is evil in this world and has turned it into an even greater good. The greatest of sorrows soon becomes the greatest of joys. The hatred of devils, the malice of men, the sins of our own souls, Jesus took these and bearing them willingly and lovingly in His own Body offered Himself as a sacrifice of reparation for us. He Who is without sin suffered the punishment that was due for all the sins of mankind. Through the suffering we inflicted upon Him, our sins are forgiven. Through His death, we are given life.

We become dumbfounded when we contemplate the depths of the wisdom, power, and majesty of our redemption and salvation.

Through Christ's humiliation, we are lifted up. Through His wounds, we are healed. Through His death, we live. Our pride and vanity humiliated and scorned Him. Our sins struck and wounded His Sacred Flesh. The death of our souls brought forth the death of His Body.

The plans and designs of devils and evil men have all been thwarted and turned to an even greater good through the Sacrifice of Jesus. The hopes and wishes of virtuous men could never have dreamed of the outpouring of forgiveness and mercy of God. Only in the Mind of the Divinity could it be conceived that the ultimate Sacrifice of the Son of God would turn all things around.

This week is the culmination of our Lenten penances. We must be sure to follow Jesus even more closely this week. How we end is much more important than how we began or even how we progressed. We must spiritually follow Jesus in our own carrying of our cross, in our own sacrifice, in our own dying to ourselves.

Jesus has redeemed us without our help. He paid the price of punishment that our sins deserve. However, Jesus cannot save us without our help. We must do our part in cooperating with our own salvation. The Gates of Heaven have been opened. It is up to us whether we walk through those Heavenly Gates or not. It is imperative that we deny ourselves and take up our cross daily and follow Him. Jesus died so that we might live. His death is not our guarantee that we will live. Our eternal life is in our own hands.

As we examine our individual lives, we see that our salvation was not completed by Jesus upon the cross. For each of us, something is missing in the Sacrifice of Jesus upon the Cross. The merits have been earned by Jesus, but they cannot be applied to us unless we do our part. We too, must humble ourselves, deny ourselves, take up our own crosses and follow Him to Calvary.

To rise with Him in Glory, we must be willing to die with Him in shame. We must conform our lives here on earth to His in order to enjoy a life with Him in Heaven. The immeasurable love and mercy of God will not force us through the gates of Heaven. They have opened them, now we must choose if we will walk through them. The only path through these Gates is the one that Jesus has given us. God has given us a free will and He loves us enough to respect our decisions. If we choose not to love Him or not to spend eternity with Him, He will grant us our choice for all of eternity.

This week we celebrate the historic culmination of Jesus' Sacrifice and our redemption, but throughout the year, with every Sacrifice of the Mass, we apply the merits of Jesus' Sacrifice for our specific needs. We join our sacrifices with His in the Holy Mass, we offer Him in Sacrifice in reparation for our sins, we receive Him in the Holy Eucharist and unite ourselves with Him, becoming One with Him.

This week we recall the historic fulfillment of the greatest love. God's love for us was so great that He gave His life for us. It is now our turn to respond to this love. How great is our love of God? Do we love Him enough to deny ourselves, to follow Him, and even to die for the love of Him? His love for us is complete. Is our love of Him complete? What more can we do? What more can we sacrifice? What more can we offer to Him? These are the questions we should be asking today and then, every remaining day of our lives.

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