Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion
Procession With Palms — Gospel MT 21:1-11
Reading 1 IS 50:4-7
Reading 2 PHIL 2:6-11
Gospel MT 26:14—27:66
As we enter into Holy Week this Palm Sunday, our Lenten journey brings us to its culmination in the most holy week in the liturgical calendar. The reading for the Procession of Palms recalls our Lord's triumphant entry into the holy city of Jerusalem while the Lord's Passion according to St. Matthew presents the Lamb of God, the Suffering Servant of God and as St. Paul's letter to the Philippians reveals , the God who 'emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness...'
This week celebrates the most important event in human history: our redemption from sin and the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. As we enter into Holy Week, because it is our story, the Christian story, place yourselves in it during your reflections: see yourselves in the crowd so overjoyed in welcoming Jesus to Jerusalem: they praise and honor Jesus for his mighty deeds and his powerful teaching which prepare for the coming of the Kingdom of God. Wave you palms for the King of kings!
But crowds are fickle, yes, we can be fickle; at the instigation of the High Priests and their leaders, they turned their backs against him, humiliated him and, in order to crucify the Son of God, they shouted to free Barabbas, a murderer; they forsook the very "Hosannas" they greeted the Lord with, instead saying, "We have no king but Caesar!" "Let his blood be upon us and our children." Crowds are fickle, we can be fickle. Place yourselves in the story as it is our story.
We can betray him like Judas, we can deny him like Peter or we can stand with him like Mary and John but we all receive forgiveness from that cross, redemption from our sins.
As we celebrate Holy Week I pray that we may all be willing to join with Christ, the Suffering Servant, on his road to Calvary and the cross and so share in his glorious triumph and resurrection. Place yourselves in the story as it is our story.
The Season of Lent is a special time for us to slow down, look inward and make the necessary changes to truly become an Easter people.