Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion (B)
1. The March to Jerusalem
a) When horses were used in battles, military commanders used their strongest and fastest horses. Accordingly, when they returned triumphant, they would march around the city on donkeys. Of course they moved at a slower pace and people would applaud for them. Jesus has conquered; and He has conquered the world of evil. He just had the right to mount the donkey as a triumphant king towards Jerusalem. And sure enough, people applauded Him as their King.
b) Big nations can conquer smaller nations, stronger leaders can overpower weaker ones, and more influential persons can subdue the voiceless, the weak and the less influential ones, but we know that as human leaders, they can fail. But Jesus is not only a man. He is also God. He suffered death, but He also gained glory in His resurrection. He conquered the devil and sin. He can also conquer our sins of selfishness and pride that make us rebel against Him and His commands. He can conquer our sin of vanity that makes us gods of temporal things. He can conquer our sin of indifference that keeps us apart from our neighbor and our community. He can conquer our little favorite sins that make us callous to His call to holiness and perfection. Shall we march with Jesus into the Jerusalem of our hearts, and recognize Him as our King and Lord?
2. The procession continues till Good Friday
a) In the house of Simon the leper, a woman poured perfume on Jesus, who declared that she was getting Him ready for His burial. This made the Jews jealous of Him. But the more important thing was what Jesus said to them as contention to their comment that the perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor. The Jews, and the Pharisees, had the poor, but they made the life of the poor and the weak miserably heavy with their laws, and they would not even lift their fingers to help.
Many times we promise to help the poor. We promise to be kind. How many times have we raised our voices against them because of our impatience and arrogance? We will always have the poor. Do we really see them as part of us and our way to the Father?
b) When Peter disowned Jesus, Peter was not only acting alone. He was already representing us in our sins, in our disregard for the needy, and in not living out the love of our Creator in thought and deed.
c) Jesus asked the Father’s forgiveness for His persecutors. He was also asking forgiveness for our sins and our failures. He knows that we fall. He also knows that the Father will hear Him. Can we make this week an opportunity to walk with Jesus in His suffering and death in our relationships, and rise with Him in His resurrection?
3. The fruit of the suffering of Jesus will reflect in us only when we keep in mind the humanity and divinity of Jesus in our lives. Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, would say,
At the conclusion of the Stations of the Cross at Rome’s Colosseum on Good Friday night in the Jubilee Year 2000, Pope John Paul II spoke these moving and powerful words: “Who, if not the condemned Savior, can fully understand the pain of those unjustly condemned? Who, if not the King scorned and humiliated, can meet the expectations of the countless men and women who live without hope or dignity? Who, if not the crucified Son of God, can know the sorrow and loneliness of so many lives shattered and without a future? (Biblical Reflection for Palm Sunday; 2009).
4. We still continue the procession: in our responsibilities, in our attitude, in our relationships. We are processing towards eternal life with palms in our hands to proclaim Him as our King. Jesus understands our human condition and walks with us always, with Mary, His Mother and our Mother. He continues to fill us and strengthen us in the Eucharist. He continues to be our way to the Father in every situation of life. He continues to be the answer to our questions about life here on earth and in eternity.
May this Holy week, in our efforts to be reconciled to Jesus in our acts of piety and charity, lead us to the joys of His Resurrection and His continuous presence among us.