Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion
March 28, 2021 •
Father Miller finishes his series of reflections on the Seven Last Words of Christ.
Notice that the text says: He breathed His last. The word in Hebrew, "ruah", for breath is the same word for spirit. So He spirated His last. He gave up His spirit. That's when He died. Again, if we stop there, merely on a simple interpretation, we're going to miss so much of what our Lord is trying to communicate to us, even now.
Reflecting on the Gospels, there is one thing Jesus makes clear: no one can take His life from Him. Jesus says: I lay it down freely.
When we look at His Passion at this moment, we can never think "they took His life." No. He laid it down freely, by choice.
Why is this important?
Because Jesus, being God, and also being in the flesh is revealing to us what perfect love looks like. Theologically, perfect love is often explained as "the gift of self". Where you give of yourself to another. And to the extent which you make yourself a gift... is the extent to which you have loved.
Jesus - revealing the love of God - gives everything to us. Everything. Every drop of His blood. Every agony. His very physical life. And after He has given everything in love to us for our salvation, the only thing left is His spirit.
But notice He doesn't keep that to Himself at the end of His life- He even gives that away.
Father into Your hands, I commend My spirit.
He was totally empty. Nothing belonged to Him, not even His spirit.
This is the perfect example of love. Of self-sacrifice. Of making of yourself a gift to the beloved.
Mk 11:1-10 (Procession) Is 50:4-7; Phil 2:6-11; Mk 14:--15:47
Homily begins at 36:01