by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace
With our solemn procession, carrying our palm branches, we have begun the most important, most sacred, most holy week of our church year, and we have listened to the full account of the sufferings and death of Jesus. During this week, we are invited now to enter into the experiences of Jesus, to hear more deeply perhaps than ever before the words of Jesus, because this is the week when we can once more undergo the profound transformation that God calls us to as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Obviously, we cannot take the time this morning to reflect on the account we heard in the Gospel of the sufferings and death of Jesus in a full way, but as we begin our reflection on the Scriptures this morning, our first lesson gives us some instruction on how to go about this week, what’s important for us. We’re invited by the Prophet Isaiah to be reminded that God has given us a disciple’s tongue so that we know how to reply to the weary. God provides me with speech, but here’s the really important part of our guidance that we try to enter into this week.
Each morning, God wakes me to hear, to listen like a disciple. A disciple is someone who is a learner, who is trying to understand, trying to grow in understanding, and Isaiah tells us that we do that by listening, listening deeply to the words of Jesus, but also listening to what Jesus is telling us through his actions. God has opened my ear. God comes to my help. So this week, God will be with us as we try to hear what Jesus says, try to listen to what his action speaks to us. Our second lesson today reminds us what is to happen, what can happen to us during this week.