Passion (Palm) Sunday
20, 2016 9:00am and 11:00am
St. Margaret Parish, Bel Air
“The Shortness of Our Life”
“Lord, make us know the shortness of our life, that we may gain wisdom of heart.”
These words are in Psalm 90 of the Old Testament. I’ll repeat them: “Lord, make us know the shortness of our life, that we may gain wisdom of heart.”
I have been using this verse as part of my morning prayer during Lent. The idea is that we ask God to help us to keep in mind the shortness of life.
Whether we live for 20 or 90 years, our time on this earth is relatively short. Being aware of this usually brings wisdom.
It helps us to see what is really important and what is not so important. It helps us to make good choices and the best uses of our time.
So, with this awareness, some past, hurtful words in a relationship may now feel like less of a reason for alienation and animosity. With this awareness, the danger of abusing alcohol or other substances may seem much clearer.
So, I find this verse in Psalm 90 to be a wonderful prayer. Being aware of the shortness of our life usually gives wisdom.
The Shortness of Jesus’ Life
I thought of this verse when I reflected on today’s account of Jesus’ Passion.
Jesus did not live a long life – 33 years. He seems to have always been aware of the shortness of his life.
This awareness gave him wisdom. For example, he consistently showed the wisdom of patience with human weakness and here he shows that patience with Peter.
He consistently showed the wisdom of forgiveness and here he forgives even those who are putting him to death. He consistently showed the wisdom of peacemaking and here he shows his peacefulness when he heals the ear of the high priest’s servant.
Jesus’ awareness of the shortness of his life gave him the wisdom to his mission and purpose, no matter what. Right to the end, he reconciles human beings with one another and reconciles humanity with God.
So, I recommend to you on this Palm Sunday the verse from Psalm 90.
Make this your own prayer, especially during this Holy Week. “Lord, make us know the shortness of our life, that we may gain wisdom of heart.”