by Fr. Ivan Olmo
“The Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.” Easter reminds us of the patient longing of the Father, of his deep desire for Holy Communion with his precious creation, of the suffering love that has brought about the victory over death and the pardon and peace gained for our freedom. We are joyous because we are beloved unconditionally and eternally. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, he willingly entered into his Passion, into the Way of the Cross, into suffering and dying that he might more fully enter into our hearts, into our minds, into our souls, into our being. He draws us closer to him and unites us to all that he said and did for us to enter his great desire to save and love all humanity. Lent and Holy Week invited us to more deeply enter into the sorrow that was so real to Jesus. We were welcomed into his mourning and weeping in order to commemorate with the entire Universal Church our Lord’s Passion, his saving grace and our salvation. We were encouraged to more profoundly enter into all that Jesus experienced so that our hearts would be moved, our faith deepened, our souls healed and our hope increased. In fasting, we learned to hunger for God alone. To fast from bodily desires, impure thoughts, worldly pleasures and to die to self. To deny our self and to long, thirst and live for God alone. In almsgiving, we learned to take up our cross and help others carry theirs. To give God the one thing that would please him more than anything else – a contrite heart, a pure heart, a clean heart, a loving heart. In prayer, we learned to dedicate more time to quiet and silence with God. To be in relationship with him, to share intimacy with him. We learned that we cannot merely meditate on the Lord’s Passion, but we must experience, participate and enter into it. We must become more faithful in following Jesus on the way to Jerusalem because it leads to our salvation. We should, more than anything desire a right relationship with God. To enter into God’s presence, to enter into his heart, to share his peace for all eternity. This should be the deepest longing of our heart. We pray that with Jesus and through him we may enter ever more fully into the Mystery of his Passion and Death so that we can celebrate and participate in his joyous and glorious Resurrection.