As we approach Palm Sunday, the story of the final week of Jesus’ life unfolds. In the first reading from Ezekiel 37, the prophet speaks of the return of the Davidic Kingdom. Of course, Jesus came to fulfill the Davidic Kingdom in a perfect way. In the Gospel reading from John 11, Caiaphas, the high priest said that Jesus must die instead of the nation. One giving up his life for the many.
This reminds me of our call as Christians. We must imitate Christ. We must be willing to give up our lives for others. One dying for the many. I always find this to be most present in mothers. I saw it in my mom, I see it in my wife. Moms really seem to have the notion of sacrifice down. They so often give up things for themselves so that their children won’t have to go without.
As a father, I think that this concept can be much easier to grasp when it comes to our families. We, as parents, may not find it so hard to die to self for our spouses or children. But how about for total strangers. Or, even better, how about for those who hurt us? Those with whom we disagree? Those who may even hate us? Are we willing to die, figuratively or literally, for them? Jesus was.
Father, teach us about sacrifice. Give us the grace to be willing to die to ourselves for others, as we imitate your Son. Amen.