With Palm Sunday we enter Holy Week, and the rhythm of the Liturgical Year slows down. These are the days of our destiny and they seem to come to us slowly, one by one, each one generous with signs, symbols and light.
Today, our gaze is called to go deep, beyond the crude description of the facts. The abundance of words in the account of Jesus' passion must be matched by an abundance of silence, to make room for the gaze of the heart, to see not only with our own heart, filled with feelings of admiration, compassion, fear, pain, and bewilderment, but to see with God's heart, asking God's maternal love within us, the Holy Spirit, to accompany us in contemplation.
With God's gaze and heart, our looking at those wounds, those physical and atrocious sufferings of the cross, becomes a touching with our hands of the open wounds, all the sufferings we have experienced on our skin, and all those we have shared, because we have been close to them, right to the end, every day, in accompanying the suffering, the illness of someone dear to us. With God's eyes and heart, our looking at that passion of Jesus makes us go beyond the wounds of the body to contemplate the radical challenge of delivery.
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not deem 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.
From that scaffold we welcome the beauty of God's love that surrenders itself to us and saves us. On this Passion Sunday, we are called to contemplate the Beauty that saves, to start afresh from Christ, imitating him in the gift of himself, giving his life to humanity, placing himself at the service of the fraternity, going out to meet everyone. Putting the Lord, the Suffering Servant, at the center of one's life means decentralizing oneself, and the more we unite ourselves to Him, the more He becomes the center of our lives, the more He makes us leave ourselves and opens us to others. In this dynamism of love, we discover the gift of fraternity, which is to be loved, experienced, announced and witnessed.
"Christ," Pope Francis reminds us, "came into the world to bring us the possibility of participating in his life. This involves weaving a fraternal relationality, marked by reciprocity, forgiveness, and the total gift of self, according to the breadth and depth of God's love, offered to humanity by the One who, crucified and risen, draws all to himself." (48th World Day of Peace)
This good news requires of each of us an extra step, an attitude of compassion, of listening to the hope and suffering of others, setting out on the demanding path of that love that knows how to spend itself freely for the good of others. Let us be encouraged to pay particular attention to the process of reconciliation for a fraternity that is not an end in itself but is directed toward the mission of making humanity more united and peaceful, within that “Galilee” which is suggested by our world, our history and our differences.
During this week, this Holy Week, I ask myself: What price am I willing to pay to weave fraternity?
Have a good journey!