Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion: Between Heaven and Earth

And they raised Him up on a cross. He was between heaven and earth. On the ground, yet raised up to the sky. He was with His People, with Us, but He was also with His Father.

Apr 14, 2019

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
Readings: Isaiah 50:4-7
Philippians 2:6-11
Gospel: Luke 22:14 – 23:56

And they raised Him up on a cross. He was between heaven and earth. On the ground, yet raised up to the sky. He was with His People, with Us, but He was also with His Father.

People had carried palms and sang “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” But some, perhaps most, were looking for a military leader called by God like Joshua, or Gideon, or even Samson. Most could not understand how Jesus could be lifted up on a cross. Many were disillusioned. He was not the Messiah they thought He would be. And they were right. Jesus was the military leader of a spiritual army, not a physical army. Most people could not understand this.

But there were some of the people who did understand why Jesus was lifted up. They realised that He had come to unite heaven to earth and, more to the point, earth to heaven. They realised that God’s love could not be explained. “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realise that I AM HE,” the Lord said in John 8:28. We can’t explain how much our God loves us. There are no words, no concepts that adequately express His Love. It is beyond comprehension. God’s love can only be experienced. We experience His Love when we come to the realisation that He did this for us, for all of us and for each of us.

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom,” the good thief whom we call Dismis prayed. And Jesus saw his faith. This man was concerned about the spiritual, not the physical. “Today, you will be with me in paradise,” the Lord responded. You will be part of the spiritual Kingdom. Dismis experienced Mercy.

And, so, we begin Holy Week. Our focus is on the Cross, where the Lord reigned, suspended between heaven and earth. We call out to Him, “Remember me, Lord, when you come into your Kingdom.”

And He calls out to us, “Join me. Join me in bringing heaven to earth and earth to heaven. Provide the experience of God’s love to others by sacrificing yourselves for them. Join me,” the Lord calls out. “Join me in the sacrifice of the Cross. Join me in the Triumph of the Cross.” -- By Msgr Joseph A Pellegrino

Thoughts From The Early Church

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. (Lk 19:38)

“Behold, a righteous king will reign, and princes will rule with justice.” The only-begotten Word of God, together with God the Father, has always been king of the universe, and to him all creatures, visible and invisible, are subject.

People on earth, having been caught in the snares of sin, were persuaded by the devil to reject his sovereignty and to despise his royal power, but the judge and dispenser of all justice brought them back under his own dominion.

All his ways are straight, says scripture, and by the ways of Christ we mean the divine precepts laid down in the gospel. By observing them we make progress in every virtue, do honour to ourselves by the moral beauty of our lives, and attain the heavenly reward to which we have been called.

These are straight, not winding ways: they are direct and easily followed. As it is written, “The way of the upright is straight; the road of the just is made smooth.”

Its many decrees make the law a rugged way and its difficulty intolerable, but the way of the gospel is smooth, without any roughness or steep ascents.

The ways of Christ are straight, then, and as for the holy city, which is the Church, he himself was its builder and he makes it his own dwelling. In other words, he makes the saints his dwelling: sharing as we do in the Holy Spirit, we have Christ within us and have become temples of the living God.

Christ is both the founder of the Church and its foundation, and upon this foundation we, like precious stones, are built into a holy temple to become, through the Spirit, a dwelling place for God.

Since it has in Christ such a firm foundation, the Church can never be shaken. Scripture says: “I am laying the foundation stone of Zion, the cornerstone, chosen and precious. No one who believes in him will ever be put to shame.”

When he founded the Church, Christ delivered his people from bondage. He saved us from the power of Satan and of sin, freed us, and subjected us to his own rule, but not by paying a ransom or by bribes.

As one of his disciples wrote, “We have been freed from the futile ways handed down to us by our ancestors, not by anything perishable like silver and gold, but by the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without mark or blemish.”

He gave his own blood for us, so that we no longer belong to ourselves, but to him who bought us and saved us. Those, therefore, who turn aside from the noble rule of the true faith, are justly accused by all the saints of denying the Lord who redeemed them. -- By Cyril of Alexandria

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