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Reflection: The Preparation and Passion of Jesus

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
March 28, 2021
The Preparation and Passion of Christ

Behind every important and significant act there is a preparation step, including the passion of Christ. I am wondering how did Jesus enter and endure his suffering, mocking, scourging, crucifixion and death on the cross? After actively preaching the good news, healing the wounds of the people, and living a normal life like us, Jesus decided to go up to Jerusalem to die. How did he prepare for this Passion, which is called “giving his death away.”
St. Paul reveals a little secret of Jesus’s preparation in the second reading (Phillipians 2:6-11) today. He wrote:
Christ Jesus, (1) though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, (2) he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, (3) he humbled himself, (4) becoming obedient to the point of death, (5) even death on a cross.
1. “Did not regard equality with God”. Jesus did not expect people to recognize and treat him as God, but simply a master, a teacher, a healer, a son of man. His complete simple life set him up for a perfect journey with God.
2. “Emptied himself” is another secret of Jesus to enter into the Passion. He has nothing to lose. He gives everything away even himself for the glory of God the Father and the salvation of all.
3. “Humbled himself” helps him to be focused and sacrifice with joy and peace.
4. “Becoming obedient” is another key of Jesus’ preparation of his attitude and lifestyle.
5. Last but not least, “death on the cross”. Jesus’ death is the climax and the natural love of everything he did for us. That is Jesus’ purpose: To be lifted up so he can draw us with him.
Redemptorist missionary Fr. James Keena, C.Ss.R. once said to me, “How I live is how I die.” How Jesus lived his life is how he died for us. I imagine how you prepared for your marriage life. Did you only marry the one you loved and the one who loved you? Did you set a lot of expectations and rules in your family? Did you want to be treated with the best love and respect from your loved ones instead of being emptied, humbled and obedient?
Question: Then, how could you apply these secrets of Jesus in your lives in order to enter into your own passion of life so that you can complete and celebrate your passion one day like Christ Jesus?