I have seen many people — politicians, celebrities, even priests — especially in Uganda where I grew up, demanding honor and respect from others. Being honored and respected is good. But, if we overly demand it from others, it may not be good. The readings of this Sunday challenge us as Jesus’ followers to learn to be humble.
Jesus is many times presented as a nice person: kind, compassionate and a gentle shepherd.
However, we are reminded this week that Jesus is uncompromising and demanding. God did not send his only Son to entertain us: He came to proclaim and teach the truth, which often collides with our lives.
Prestige, status, honor, glory, wealth: Are these the things that motivate us? The Scriptures for this coming weekend seek to purify our motivation. In the Gospel, Jesus warns against greed. His parable about the farmer encourages us to store up treasure in heaven rather than on earth.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered the New World. Imagine the joy he experienced in his discovery after two months of hardship. Then, imagine the even greater joy he had in sharing these experiences with his friends.
“They shall look on him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourns for an only son, and they shall grieve over him as one grieves over a firstborn. On that day the mourning in Jerusalem shall be as great as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo” (Zechariah 12:10-11).
In the Gospel of John, our Lord says, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
It is already one month since the new successor of Peter was elected by the cardinals under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead and govern the Church. Pope Francis in this short period of time has already shown us great faith and humility. His words and his actions are visible signs of his total dependence in God. He recognizes his limitations and places his confidence in God because he knows that God is the one who illuminates and guides the Church.
Depending on whether you attend the Easter Vigil or one of the Easter Sunday liturgies this year, the Gospel reading could be different because of the options given by the Church to mark this solemnity. These many testimonies to the resurrection of Jesus Christ within the four Gospels highlight the importance of this event in our Catholic faith.