March 23, 2013

Palm Sunday - C


The Price of God’s Love

This Gospel passage continues and brings to climax the great themes of God’s boundless love and forgiveness.  This has been one of the themes of the Sunday Gospels during Lent for this Cycle C taken from Luke.

We have heard God’s love and forgiveness from Jesus’ teaching on God’s patience in the parable of the fig tree (2rd Sunday of Lent).  The theme of God’s love continues with the image of the father’s boundless love for the two sons who do not appreciate it (3rd Sunday of Lent).  Then, God’s love and forgiveness becomes tangible in the flesh in Jesus when he forgives and opens the path to relationship with God to the woman caught in the act of adultery (5th Sunday of Lent).  

In forgiving sinners and in sharing with humanity God’s love, Jesus Christ reveals himself as the true Son of God (this identity of Jesus was introduced in the Gospel passage of the temptation in the desert (1st Sunday of Lent) and the transfiguration (2nd Sunday of Lent)).

Jesus now shares a meal with Peter and the other disciples, who are sinners.  [1]   They are people with human brokenness, lack of understanding, fear….  One of them will betray Jesus.  Another will deny knowing him.  The rest will abandon him. 

Moreover, for them, for the two criminals crucified with him, for the high priest, the rulers, the soldiers, and, indeed, for all sinners, Jesus gives his life.  

To the Father, the Son offers his life for the forgiveness of all sinners.  On the cross, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”  

[1] Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of the Lord, Reflections on the Gospel Readings Year C. Collegeville, MN. Liturgical Press, 1991; p. 83.

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