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  • Writer's pictureRebekah Stiller

A Good Word by Fr. Greg Jakubowicz, OFM 4.2.2023

Hello Friends,

Today we remember the Passion of the Lord as we celebrate Palm Sunday.

The Gospel narrative from Matthew that we hear at Mass today shows the injustice, the violence, and the suffering that Jesus Christ endured out of His great love for us.

During His painful ordeal as He is dying upon the Cross, Jesus calls out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Have you ever been in a place in your life when you have experienced injustice, abandonment, and/or pain, so much so that you have called out to God asking “why?”

As reported online in America Magazine today, Pope Francis shared in his Palm Sunday sermon that Jesus Christ, even as He asks God why He is abandoning Him, He still trusts in God and suffers the Cross for us. This is our hope.

The Pope points out:

“We find it hard even to grasp what great suffering [Jesus Christ] embraced out of love for us. He sees the gates of heaven close, he finds himself at the bitter edge, the shipwreck of life, the collapse of certainty. And he cries out: ‘Why?’”

“Jesus did this for me, for you, because whenever you or I or anyone else seems pinned to the wall, lost in a blind alley, plunged into the abyss of abandonment, sucked into a whirlwind of ‘whys,’ there can still be hope. It is not the end, because Jesus was there and even now, he is at your side.”

“He became one of us to the very end, in order to be completely and definitively one with us. So that none of us would ever again feel alone and beyond hope. He experienced abandonment in order not to leave us prey to despair, in order to stay at our side forever.”

“Christ, in his abandonment, stirs us to seek him and to love him and those who are themselves abandoned. For in them we see not only people in need, but Jesus himself, abandoned.”

The Holy Father continued in sharing with you and me how we might better conform ourselves to Jesus Christ in hope. He says:

“Jesus, in his abandonment, asks us to open our eyes and hearts to all who find themselves abandoned. For us, as disciples of the ‘forsaken’ Lord, no man, woman or child can be regarded as an outcast, no one left to himself or herself. Let us remember that the rejected and the excluded are living icons of Christ.”

My friends, as we enter this Holy Week, may you and I open our hearts and our lives to be moved so as to be like Jesus Christ. And by our cooperating with God’s Grace, may you and I humbly participate in the hope-filled transforming death into new Life through the Love of God as witnessed for us on the Cross of Jesus Christ.

Christ remains our hope and is always there at our side. Thanks be to God! May you and I share that hope-filled love with all who need it.

Have a prayerful and blessed Holy Week.

As always, if there is anything we can do for you at UB Catholic campus ministry, please let me know. We are here for you.

May God bless you with Peace and All Good.

Fr. Greg

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