As we progress through Holy Week and prepare to celebrate the Sacred Triduum of the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection, the Church invites us to reflect on the Lord’s humility and to draw lessons from it.
The Gospel of Palm Sunday told us that the Lord fulfils this prophecy:
“Look your King comes to you: he is humble, he rides on a donkey and on a colt, the
foal of a beast of burden.”
In St Paul’s beautiful hymn in the Letter to the Philippians Christ is described as emptying himself to assume the condition of a slave; indeed “he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on across. But God raised him high and gave him the name which is above all other names.”
We acclaim Jesus Christ as our humble Saviour who died for us all upon the cross and also as our Risen Lord “to the glory of God the Father.”
The celebration of these Holy Days stirs up within us a deep sense of humble gratitude before the Lord, taking into our hearts the words of the Prophet Isaiah which we hear on Good Friday:
“Yet ours were the sufferings he bore, ours the sorrows he carried…….he was pierced through for our faults, crushed for our sins. On him lies a punishment which brings us peace, and through his wounds we are healed.”
In this humble acceptance of what the Lord has done for us we confess and renew our sorrow for our sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, once again we adore the Wood of the Cross on Good Friday, and are full of awe and great joy as we greet and proclaim our faith in the Lord truly risen at Easter. We know him, we love him, and we wish to give our lives to him in the humble service of our brothers and sisters, imitating what he did in washing the apostles’ feet at the Last Supper. We thank the Lord especially for the gift of the Holy Eucharist, in which we experience his abiding presence within and among us, and through which we are strengthened to do what he asks of us – “Love one another as I have loved you.”
This Easter in the Diocese of Motherwell I ask your continued prayers for those to be ordained as priests in the coming months. We have been blessed by the Lord in this gift of new priests and thank him for their generous response. I thank you for your own generous response to my appeals for financial assistance for the formation of our seminarians. I ask you to pray also that others may respond to the Lord’s call to priesthood and religious life.
Let us thank the Lord also for all our priests, our permanent deacons and religious. It was good for the bishop and priests to renew again our promises to give our lives completely to the Lord and the service of his people at the Mass of Chrism, and I thank the whole Diocesan community for your prayers for all ministering in Christ’s name and for your loving support.
I wish you all a Happy and Joyful Easter, and ask the Lord’s blessing upon your families and on all in special need in our world at this time.
+ Joseph Toal