Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."
When he had said this, he breathed his last.
During the Passion account at Palm Sunday Mass, we pause to kneel and pray after Jesus utters his final words: "Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit."
It's natural, in this moment, to be overcome by Jesus' love for us; by his humble surrender to God's will; by the way that, even in death, he points us to the Father.
And as Jesus gives us these words to mark his death, it's incredible to realize how much they reflect his life.
For Jesus commits his spirit to the Father and points us to the Father throughout his life of ministry. The Gospels abound with stories of Jesus referring to his Father, spending time alone in prayer with his Father, accepting his Father's will and his Father's call.
And as we enter into the Triduum, we will see Jesus placing himself in his Father's hands more and more.
At the Last Supper, Jesus reminds the disciples to "rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I."
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus withdraws to pray, and finally surrenders to his Father's call: "Not my will, but yours be done."
Jesus's words in death remind us of the way he lived his life: over and over, placing himself into his Father's hands. May the same be said of us in our daily service and ministry: may we commit our work and efforts, our relationships, our words and actions---indeed, our spirits--into God's hands.
Whom or what in my life can I more fully commend to God?
Heavenly Father, in this Holy Week, may we, like Jesus, place ourselves more fully into Your hands. May Jesus, who instructs us even in death, inspire us to emulate him in life. This we ask through the same Christ Jesus, our Teacher and our Lord. Amen.