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Sunday, April 16, 2000

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Passion Sunday

Entrance Procession: Mark 11:1-10 or John 12:12-16
Isaiah 50:4-7
Philippians 2:5-11
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24

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driven by crucified love

"Then Jesus, uttering a loud cry, breathed His last." —Mark 15:37

Happy Holy Week! May this be one of the greatest weeks of the greatest year of your life, the year of the Great Jubilee in preparation for the beginning of the new millennium.

In one week, in every Catholic church in the world, at every Mass on the first day of the Easter season, we will be challenged to make the greatest act of faith and love in our lives by renewing our baptismal promises. We will be invited to give our lives totally to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and thereby reject Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises.

Why would we make such a radical commitment which would result in losing our lives? (Lk 9:24) We make or renew our baptismal promises only because of love (see 2 Cor 5:14). We decide to lose our lives only because of the love of Jesus, Who lost His life for us on the cross. Therefore, the Church calls us to read about Jesus' Passion and death. As we "behold the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died," our richest gain we "count but loss and pour contempt" on all our pride. "There is no greater love than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends" (Jn 15:13).

Driven by crucified love, let us make the greatest decision of our lives and renew our baptismal promises.

Prayer:  Father, as many people threw their cloaks and palms before Jesus entering Jerusalem, I throw myself at Your feet (see Mk 11:8).

Promise:  "At Jesus' name every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father: JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!" —Phil 2:10-11

Praise:  "Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!" (Mk 11:9)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 4, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 1999