Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
Holy Week is all about Jesus letting go, and letting God be his Father. St. Paul, in today’s second reading, tells us that Christ Jesus “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave… he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” No greater love has anyone than to lay down or “to let go” of his or her life for another.
It is said that “letting go” are the basic words in any love story. We are told that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” God “let go” of his Son to show how much he loved us.
The Holy Week that we begin today is an invitation to dwell on the Story of God’s Love for Us. We are also called to reflect on how we are going to write and live out the story of our own love for God. If the kingdom of God is to break forth into our lives, our love must take the form of letting go. We, too, have to let go and let God be God for us.
We know that this “letting go and letting God be God” is a lifetime task and a constant challenge. It is a lifetime work… a lifetime of dying to ourselves… dying to selfishness and sin… dying in order to rise in loving service and generous sharing of ourselves to others.
What does letting go and letting God be God mean in more practical terms?
First, we have to let go of things outside ourselves that prevent us from seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. What are these? The things we put in the place which is meant for God: the center of our lives. The things we hold on to instead of God.
Second, we have to let go of things inside us that hold us back from loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and from loving our neighbor as ourselves. What are these? The things we keep in our hearts: anger, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness… also envy and jealousy – coveting what others have.
Third, we have to let go of our very selves. It means dying to our self-centeredness and selfishness; dying to our craving for material wealth and security; dying to our appetite for controlling and dominating others; dying to our wrong notion of absolute ownership.
We are called to a love which does not hesitate to offer itself in sacrifice for the beloved – in imitation of Christ. (Pope Francis) A love that is able to let go, and let God be God for us.