Thank you joining me, this week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for Palm Sunday.
Almighty ever-living God, who as an example of humility for the human race to follow, caused our Savior to take flesh and submit to the Cross, graciously grant that we may heed his lesson of patient suffering and so merit a share in his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
There’s so much in the prayer this week!
Let’s take a look, first, at humility. It’s hard to imagine God being humbled. When I thought about all the incredible things that God has done: the plagues in Egypt, parting the Red Sea, bringing dry bones to life, closing the lions’ mouths so Daniel wasn’t their lunch, and raising people from the dead, it just seemed like God being God.
He is the Creator. He could have come up with many ways to to bring salvation to humankind, however, one of his greatest miracles was taking on flesh and becoming like us. His humility shows when we understand that God did this of his own free will. The Father chose a plan, Jesus chose to become man and die for our salvation.
It’s that humility that is the example we are called to follow, making others more important than ourselves. Which leads to the next part of the prayer, the words “example” and “lesson,” while they sound very different, they are very similar.
Example (Lat: imitandum) means pattern, precede.
Lesson (Lat: documenta) means example.
There is another depth to the meaning of the the word “example” used in the prayer. It calls us to live a past event, to imitate it, with such intent that it transforms us.
Someone may want to look like and fix their hair like their favorite movie star, but they will never become their idol.
When we imitate Jesus, it changes us, we become Him, his life in us will grow. He calls us to be gift, to be like Him, live our lives for others.
About the patient suffering: In the Latin form of the prayer, it’s the other way around, meaning, patience in suffering. We ask for Jesus’ strength to practice patience through the suffering. We all have times that are hard, but nothing will be as hard as what Jesus patiently suffered during his Passion.
The “and so” here can be translated to mean “also”. This week, as I was thinking about “heed his lesson of patient suffering and so merit a share in his Resurrection.”
When I wake up during the night and meditate on the prayer I’m studying, it’s always fun to see what goes through my mind. This week, the closing prayer of the Rosary popped in my head:
“Grant, that by meditating upon these mysteries, 'we may both imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.’"
This week, we ask that when we imitate Jesus’s examples, we deserve to possess his lesson of patience, and to have the hope to obtain what he promises, a share in His Resurrection.
This week as we Lectio the Liturgy, think about your favorite story in the Bible where God displayed his power. Maybe for you it’s parting the Red Sea, using mud to open a man’s eyes, or breaking Peter out of prison. This week God’s power will be revealed when the earth quakes, the veil in the temple is torn and the world waits for the Resurrection. If God can do all of that, just think about the love he has for you and for the powerful things he wants to do through you. Not to worry, we have Jesus for an example.