Today we celebrate Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday. It’s on Palm Sunday that we begin our journey through Holy week and welcome Jesus into our lives asking him to allow us to share in his suffering, death and resurrection.
Before his triumphant resurrection Jesus will have to endure great suffering and death. While he is in the Garden of Gethsemane he prays to the Father asking him to take this chalice of suffering and death from him. He is mocked and spat upon and a convicted murderer is set free. Peter denies that he knows him and the apostles forsake him. He must surely have felt a great sense of abandonment by those he loved. It is his mother Mary who stands alone at the foot of the cross faithful to the end.
I was listening to radio during the week. The interviewee recalled how they had to live with daily pain from an unprovoked physical attack they received some years ago. The perpetrator got off lightly but they are left coping with the emotional and physical scars. But that started me thinking. Their condition was not life threatening. What about someone who is living with cancer or having treatment? Someone coping with the pain of bereavement? Surely this person could gain some comfort from that fact?
But all suffering is relative. We all have to bear ‘crosses’ from time to time in life. What may be a cross to one of us may be a slight inconvenience to another. In this solemn week ahead we are asked to journey along the road with Mary and the few who remained faithful to him. We are invited to carry our own sufferings and hurts along the road too remembering the words of scripture ‘Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest’.