Ascent to Jerusalem

Palm Sunday, cycle A

In his homily for Palm Sunday last year, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI invites us to go on a pilgrimage on the ascent to Jerusalem.  But this is not simply a pilgrimage; rather, it symbolizes our ascent in Christian life and our ascent before God.

Jesus shows the way toward that ascent.  But what does it take for us to go on that ascent?

Let me quote directly from the Holy Father: 

"Let us sum up: the following of Christ requires, as a first step, a reawakening of the desire to be authentic human beings and thus the reawakening of oneself for God. It then requires us to join the climbing party, in the communion of the Church. In the "we" of the Church we enter into communion with the "you" of Jesus Christ and thus reach the path to God. We are also asked to listen to the Word of Jesus Christ and to live it: in faith, hope and love. Thus we are on the way toward the definitive Jerusalem and, from this moment, in a certain way, we already find ourselves there, in the communion of all God's Saints."

First, let us reawaken in ourselves that intense desire for God as a condition of becoming fully human and fully alive.

Second, be assured of the support of companions.  Believe in the people of God which is the Church.

Thirdly, live out the Word of Jesus until "we find ourselves in the communion of all God's Saints."

A final note in this journey: let us be reminded that  "the Cross is also part of the ascent towards the heights of Jesus Christ."  The Cross which bears the saving heart of Jesus is the key to our ascent from our low stature in life towards the fullness of life in God.   May this inspire us to carry our crosses this Holy Week.