Empowering Change: The Promise of Holy Week
Yesterday, the Christian world welcomed Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, when Jesus Christ triumphantly entered Jerusalem and events were set in motion which would lead to His suffering and death on the cross, and ultimately, His glorious resurrection. This is the most sacred week on the liturgical calendar. It is a time for deep reflection, a time when we as a people of faith can discern what it truly means to be a follower of Christ.
It is always important to remember that when Jesus entered our world, He did so by appearing in our likeness. Though He was the son of God, Jesus was a flesh and blood human. Like every one of us, Jesus needed the love and support of family, friends, and community. He was not born as an earthly prince in a palace, instead, His birthplace was simple manger in a cave. In his second letter to the Philippians (Phil 2:6-8), St. Paul writes of the Lord’s meek beginnings:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard 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.
The fact that Jesus took the form of a slave or servant is most revealing. His ministry on earth was a life of service to humankind. Jesus’s many miracles, his healing of the bodies and souls of those in need, and His ultimate sacrifice upon the cross, all testify to His mission. Yet, Jesus also showed His humility in another gracious act of servitude during this Passion Week, when, on Holy Thursday, our Lord got down on His knees to wash the feet of His disciples. As He did so, Jesus instructed them do this for others. This was yet another example of sacrificial love. Once again, Jesus is showing us the way.
We are all easily distracted by the materialism and moral relativism that pervades in the world today. Taking time to disconnect from that “noise” and to refocus on our relationship with God and each other is needed now more than ever. We should all reflect on our Lord’s mission of service and seek to follow His example.
Here in Seminole County, we are blessed to have an organization like The Sharing Center whose mission of providing resources to those in need while ensuring dignity, reflecting Christian generosity, and sharing God’s love, perfectly encapsulates Jesus’s commandment to love one another. At The Sharing Center, there are so many ways to get involved and help our neighbors in need, from donating food, clothing, and furniture to volunteering one’s time and talent on our campus, and a host of other opportunities in between. As we look for ways to follow our Lord’s example, I would humbly ask that you please consider The Sharing Center, or any charity close to your heart, as a way to deepen your relationship with God and to help your neighbors in need.