Palm Sunday

Today is the Passion Sunday or, the Palm Sunday. On this day the Church celebrates Christ’s triumphant entrance into the city of Jerusalem to accomplish his paschal mystery on the cross.

Palm Sunday also marks the beginning of the Holy Week. Between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, is the Easter Triduum consisting of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil. During the Easter Triduum, we will reflect on the most important events of Christ’s life upon which the mystery of our Salvation and Christian Faith is founded.

The Entry Of Christ Into Jerusalem by Louis Felix LeullierThe Entry Of Christ Into Jerusalem  by Louis Felix Leullier

The liturgy of the Palm Sunday begins with a presentation of an enthusiastic and exuberant crowd welcoming Jesus as King into Jerusalem, the city of David. Riding on a donkey, Jesus gets the red-carpet treatment with cloaks and branches. Messianic acclamations and shouts of Hosanna pierce the air. Then, all of sudden, the mood changes. The victory songs are replaced by whips and spitting. Jesus the Davidic Savior, is now Jesus the blasphemer, carrying on his back a heavy and awful cross. Cries of celebration turned to calls for death, and shouts of joy gave way to the sound of the lash. The joyful parade became an execution march. Just enough to make our heads spin. How could all that happen?

Palm Sunday is not only a yearly remembrance of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, and how he came to heal us, to free us from the power of sin and evil, and to teach us to love one another and to care for one another; its is also a reminder of the nature of our own sufferings, that we all have to deal with trials that are unavoidable and inescapable. The passion of Jesus also brings to mind our own failures. We can often find ourselves with Jesus for the easy part of our faith journey, but then we vanish like the wind when life trials fill the air.

Matthias Grünewald, detail, The Isenheim Altarpiece, 1515,

Matthias Grünewald, detail, The Isenheim Altarpiece, 1515,

Therefore, the passion of our Lord challenges us to examine how deep is our own loyalty to Christ in a world where faith is so easily mocked, and His Holy Name so easily denigrated. We can think about the times when we want to skip ahead to the empty tomb without first walking to Golgotha. But there can be no resurrection without the cross. There can be no new life without first dying to oneself. There is no Easter without Good Friday. For Jesus, and for all of us, hope is the message of the cross; that God will not let us down.

So, let us not be like the crowd: fickle, inconsistent, swaying with the latest wind of popularity and fame, afraid to stand up for what is right, just and true. As we journey this Holy Week, let us keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus. Let us take note of his patience, his total and unyielding dedication to doing the will of the Father, fully and completely. Then let us take up our cross daily and follow him, so that having shared in his CROSS, we might share in his RESURRECTION. AMEN.

Happy Palm Sunday!

Fr. Frank Lubow

Comments

  • BettyPosted on 4/05/20

    Amen, Amen. More than ever do we need this message.

  • JoAnnPosted on 4/05/20

    That is just about what I wrote in my journal today! How quick things changed for Jesus. We must take care that our love and trust in him never changes. My lord, my love!