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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Hosanna and Happy Palm Sunday

"Who am I to judge?"
- Pope Francis

Palm Sunday and I was allowed the honor of reading as the Speaker during the Gospel.  It is always moving to read the Passion of Our Lord and to celebrate His triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  Though we all know that treachery was being plotted by the chief priests and the scribes.

We are also reminded that Jesus was surrounded by the undesirables of His time.  Lepers, prostitutes and tax collectors to name a few.   Even His Apostles had their faults.  Peter denies Him, Thomas doubts, Judas betrays Him and the others have their own issues.

Jesus was not an excluder.  He was including.  He accepted each of them and each of us for who and what we are, warts and all.  He knows the secret recesses of our hearts and still loves us!  How amazing.

So I am troubled that we are still the rabble that asks for Barabbas, a murderer.  We want to use religious freedom to exclude and deny other humans.  We stand beside the chief priests and scribes and use the letter of the law to hurt our fellow humans.

Have we forgotten that Jesus is about forgiveness?  He, as far as I can remember, turns to the accused and forgives them and asks that they sin no more.  He did not stone the prostitute or the adulteress.  He did not walk away from the leper.  No, He embraced the sinner.  He came for the sinner.  I fear that if He came and walked among us today He would find that not much has changed.

I am ashamed that I continue to sin.
I constantly seek your forgiveness, 
even when I am not willing to forgive my neighbor.

Help me to truly pray the words of the Our Father,
keeping in mind that I ask you to forgive me as I forgive others.
Let me not hide behind the letter of the law.  Let my heart be open.


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