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This Palm Sunday, the Gospel guides us through the final days of our journey toward Easter. Its passages are defined by suffering and hardship. Yet it’s in these very moments that the meaning behind Jesus’ sacrifices, and our own during Lent, is revealed.

We meet Judas as he accepts a deal to betray Jesus. Not long after, Judas joins Jesus and the disciples at the Last Supper. Here, and in the events that follow, Jesus foreshadows his Crucifixion.

“Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.’”

In today’s Gospel, Matthew invites us to see ourselves in those surrounding Jesus as his Passion begins. Like the disciples, there may be times we lose focus, as they did by falling asleep in the garden. We may experience moments of doubt, or even choose betrayal like Judas or denial like Peter. But despite our flaws and frailties, God not only forgives us, but embraces us—and it’s all because of Jesus’ great sacrifice.

How do we live in gratitude for such an act of love? We start by celebrating Jesus’ Resurrection on Easter Sunday. And we continue by living each day, flaws and all, as his faithful followers. At CMMB, we’re also inspired in these final days of Lent by Easter’s arrival during the season of new life and renewal. With this in mind, we show our gratitude by recommitting ourselves, with your support, to honoring the lives of the people we serve and delivering on new life’s promise.

In reflection, Sister Peggy O’Neill, one of CMMB’s newest board members, shares these inspiring words:

“Easter is the time to recommit ourselves to be actively engaged in this unfinished universe as co-creators of peace, justice, mercy, and compassion. We do this with confidence because we belong to a wide circle of friends who continue to live our yearnings, which are to build a world with a truth that challenges and a tenderness that transforms.”

Thank you, Sister Peggy, and all of our CMMB partners and supporters. May each one of us find meaning in the final days of this holy season.

Portions of this weekly reflection were inspired by the Loyola Press Sunday Connection