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Reflection for Palm Sunday

by Clevie Youngblood, RSHMCategory: Updates

The Selfless Love of Jesus

palm cross between two palm fronds

How often do we try to get the last word in an argument? How often do we hold a grudge because someone has offended us? How often do we self-righteously judge others? Luke’s Passion Narrative offers us a different way of being. We might rename his narrative, the Selfless Love of Jesus. Besides the greatest example, giving one’s life for the salvation of all, Luke’s Jesus presents us with other models of how to love truly and selflessly. Only in his Passion Narrative do we have Jesus healing the ear of the high priest’s servant while the soldiers arrest him. Only in Luke’s narrative do we have Jesus turning to look at Peter when he denies Jesus three times, encouraging him to remember Jesus will never deny him. In Luke’s narrative, Jesus stops on his painful journey to Calvary to speak with the mourning women of Jerusalem, to comfort them, and to warn them of what his followers must face when standing firm in faith. Only in Luke’s Gospel does Jesus respond to mockery by asking God to “forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Lk 23:34) Finally, in Luke’s narrative, we have Jesus focused not on his suffering but on the thief who declares his faith. The self-emptying, humility, and obedience of Jesus, which Saint Paul describes in the letter to the Philippians, is abundantly clear. This is Jesus, the glory of the Father! How might we live such selfless love in our relationships and actions so that we, too, might truly glorify God?


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