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Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

Welcome to this year’s Holy Week. This week, grace is all around us. Blessings are overflowing. The light of God shines in the darkness. God is in the air we breathe.

If God is all around us, why is it that we do not feel it enough? If grace overflows, why is it that we do not see it working? If blessings are abundant, why doesn’t it enter our hearts?

Grace enters by way of the heart. And there are two kinds of human heart, one misses out on grace, the other fully receives it.

Some people have what is called anima pusilla – a small heart, a narrow heart, a stunted heart. Judas, the high priest, Pilate, the chief priest and elders, the people, the soldiers – all these exemplify the anima pusilla. Their hearts and souls were small because they closed their hearts to the person of Jesus standing in their midst. They valued their own ideas, judgments, the comments of others, more than the words and works of Jesus.

Some people have anima magna – a big heart, a wide-open heart, a growing heart. Peter and the other disciples, Simon, the centurion, Joseph of Arimathea and the women disciples – these describe the anima magna. Their hearts were big because they acknowledged that God is in the person of Jesus. They opened their hearts to his words and works. They valued Jesus more than their ideas, security, even their own lives. Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, they were saved by his death.

Let’s admit it, most of us here have an anima pusilla. Our hearts are small because our ego, our pride, our sins and bad habits are big. We do not want to remain with this anima pusilla because today we want God’s grace in our life.

How to achieve the anima magna, the big heart? Two things: surrender and purification. First we must surrender our lives to God. Many times we are afraid to surrender because we do not want to lose control. But God is trustworthy, we must not be afraid to say: into your hands, Lord, I surrender my spirit.

Second is purification. Our Lenten journey is a purification from sin, self-centeredness, anger, laziness and refusal to become better, to be close to God.

It is Holy Week, and at the end of this week, God promises to touch and transform our hearts from a small heart to a big heart. Let us walk closely with Jesus and imitate his loyal disciples in surrender and purification. Let us experience as brothers and sisters the meaningful days of this week, specially Thursday, Friday and Saturday, when the story of Jesus becomes part of our story, when our own crosses are nailed to His cross so that His resurrection becomes our own new life.

From a small heart to a big heart!