Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2: 6ff)
If our God and Savior can lower himself to our humanity, surely we can humble ourselves to the same loving service of our neighbors. If our God who created all things as good, and every human person as very good, saw fit to lay down his life, and pour out his blood in order to redeem us, how can we not willingly enter into the sufferings and needs of others?
In the Gospel used today to recall Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem, we are reminded again of the true Kingship of Jesus.
Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. (Luke 19)
Holy Week is a graced opportunity for us to acknowledge Christ as our King. It is a poignant moment to understand the nature of Christ’s Kingship as one of humility, fidelity, love and service, and yes, even suffering. These are the characteristics of the Kingdom of God, and the qualities of every disciple.
As Jesus entered Jerusalem, he knew what awaited him. He willingly and consciously enters the Holy City to embrace his passion and cross, knowing full well this was the Father’s will and the path which would redeem the world. As he foresaw his own passion and resurrection, he also anticipated the needs of his disciples.
Even today, Jesus knows what lies ahead for each of us. He knows the passions that await us on our pilgrimage and the path of our discipleship. As he trusted in the Father, so we place our ultimate trust in him. We go forth in faith and confidence, removing all fear. We walk with Jesus knowing that suffering will also be a part of our discipleship, but ultimately, we will rejoice in a newness of life with Christ.
This Holy Week, let us take time to walk with Jesus. Let us attend the celebrations of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Let us behold our King. Let us ask for the grace to accompany him in his passion, that we may hope to enter into the fullness of his Resurrection!