On Passion (Palm) Sunday, all Catholics throughout the world turn their hearts and minds, once again, to the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
That suffering won, for all mankind, the definitive victory over sin and hopelessness - a victory we declare and celebrate with palm branches, the ancient world's symbol of triumph.
But let's dig deeper into this mystery of our salvation. Let's not be satisfied with the symbols.
God is all-powerful. He could have chosen to save us from sin in many other ways. Why did he choose to do it by suffering? What is the meaning of the Passion?
The Passion tells us with perfect clarity the message we most need to hear.
The Passion of Our Lord says to us: God is faithful; you can trust him.
Trusting God is the most important thing for us, but it's also the hardest, because our trust has been violated. We have all been wounded because people we trusted let us down, in little things and big things. As a result, we have all built up walls around our hearts, to protect our-selves from being let down again. But those walls also keep out God.
God knows that unless we let him into our hearts, we can never experience the happiness we long for. So, he came up with a way to win back our trust: the Passion of Christ.
The Passion is God saying to us: "No matter what you do, I will keep on loving you. I will never let you down."
That's the message of the Passion. And it's the message that each of us, wounded and sinful as we are, most need to hear. We have to learn to trust God more and more in order to be transformed by him into the kind of person we know we should be.
Blessings, Deacon Michael Moore (Hindmarsh/Findon Parish)