"It is you who have stood by me in my trials." – Lk. 22:28
Reflecting on today's Gospel, I imagine Jesus saying to his disciples and to me, "I see you. I see you with all your goodness and all your meanness, with all your wholeness and all your brokenness, with all your talents and all your shortcomings. I see you with all your loves and all your fears. I see you with all the pains you experience and all the pains you cause. I see your faithfulness and your abandonment. I see you all - and I love you. I see you all - and I choose you."
My participation in Palm Sunday moves me because it reveals our complex relationship with God, ourselves, and others. I begin the celebration, palms in hand, ready to welcome and embrace God, as the Jews welcomed and embraced Jesus when he entered Jerusalem. Moments later, I shout, as so many others have shouted before, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" And throughout it all, I hear a relentless love saying, "I give you my kingdom," and "you will be with me in Paradise."
This way of loving and being loved leaves no room for shame, doubt or fear. It is a love that proclaims, "no matter what, let's be together; let's go and grow together."
God, help me see me as you see me - completely and with a patient, persistent faithfulness and love. I ask for the grace needed to respond to myself and others with mercy.