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Jesus has been there before
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What was on Jesus' mind as he rode into Jerusalem? On that very first Palm Sunday, he didn't enter on a chariot, as a dignitary might. No, he arrived on a young donkey to show us that He had come to fight a very different kind of battle. A great crowd spontaneously gathered and waved palms to salute him. He remained solemn and resolute as he moved among the joyful procession.

He knew that many of these same people would turn on Him in a couple days at His trial. He knew what awaited Him in Jerusalem. Yet, He also knew that He was doing His Father's will, not His own. And so, with courage and confidence in God the Father, He continued to move on.

We all have a Jerusalem ahead of us. For us it is not a city. It might be an illness, a change in our life, a problem, a challenge or uncertainty. We truly need Jesus at our side so that He can show us how to move on.

As with Jesus, many people promise to stay with us at times of tragedies or hardships. However, they probably will not be there. Yet, we know that we must move forward. It is important to remember that we are not entering Jerusalem alone. Jesus has been there before us.

Christ endured great suffering in His lifetime, and showed us how we should view our own suffering. Christ did not view suffering as an evil inflicted by God.
The only real evil in this world is the sin which we commit ourselves. Christ used His suffering as a means to redeem mankind. We, in turn, can use our suffering of our own life as a means of gaining grace and obtaining salvation.
As we recall the events of our redemption, let us ask the Lord to give us grace and strength to face whatever is ahead of us. Jesus shows us that the cross can lead to salvation and new life.

Whatever lies in our future, Jesus has been there first. He is the One who shows us the way that will help us carry our own cross and lead us to the joy of Easter's celebration.

Father Peter Vu serves as the Parochial Vicar at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Conyers.