09 April 2006

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” What does it mean to “come in the name of the Lord?” We follow in the Lord’s footsteps and embrace his passion when we have Him as the only object of our love. As St. Jane de Chantal tells us, “…our hearts will have no other affections than to please Him, to love Him and to serve Him.” When we carry out all our actions for Him alone, we come in His name. And we, too, are subject to his fate. We are subject to scorn, scourging, criticism, pain, betrayal and injustices. This is our share in the cross. Our share in the cross may be only a small share in the Lord’s sufferings but it is still our share – which we embrace for love of Him.

Let us be generous in the face of suffering: as the woman in today’s Gospel, who was criticized because she broke open the alabaster jar and anointed the Lord, we, too must refuse to count the cost. As we begin the Passiontide this week, let us approach the cross with open hearts and outstretched arms. Let us live generously and gently – for blessed are we too, when we come in the name of the Lord.

“This Congregation [the Visitation] is founded spiritually on Mount Calvary for the service of Jesus Christ crucified in imitation of whom all the sisters must crucify their senses, passions and aversions . . . for the love of their Heavenly Father.” St. Francis de Sales

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