The readings for Palm Sunday are my favorites in the liturgical calendar. Particularly, I love the verse before the Gospel. At my home parish, I grew up listening to and loving the slow and thought-provoking music for this verse in Philippians. Even listening to it now brings me comfort and hope.
Christ became obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name which is above every name.
It’s interesting that this is the verse I love hearing at Mass. Why would I not want to hear something that is joyful and gives me words to praise God? I think it must do something with the promise at the end of the verse.
God rewarded Jesus’ obedience. Not only did Jesus rise from the dead on the third day, but by carrying out God’s plan for salvation, the gates of Heaven were opened, and the sins of humanity were forgiven.
It makes me wonder; what kinds of plans does God have for me that require my obedience? This year my eyes and heart have been opened to the freedom and peace that obedience brings. I am not blindly following the directions of my supervisors, but rather I am trusting that they know what is best for our students and that they have everyone’s best interests in mind.
God always works for our benefit. He will never force us to do anything. Instead, He lovingly invites us into a life filled with freedom and peace when we give Him our open hands.