Palm or Passion Sunday commemorates our Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem, the place of his passion and death, but also of his resurrection. Jesus loves the city very much; Jerusalem will put Him to death. As He enters the city on a donkey, the crowd greets and welcomes him as a King. But this same crowd will taunt and despise him as he will hang on the cross. Today, as we, too, wave our palms to welcome Christ into our lives, hopefully, we remember what his entrance to Jerusalem means for us: that he bravely faced the prospect of a violent death for love of us and for our sake.
Once Jesus enters Jerusalem, the power of darkness represented by the angry and jealous religious authorities begins to step up its resolve to incriminate and destroy him. And they manage to produce witnesses that Jesus is out not only to undermine the Jewish religion and blaspheme God by making himself equal to God, but also to subvert the nation by challenging the imperial rule. Surprisingly, Jesus says nothing to defend himself. He is expected to muster an excellent self-defense in the same way that he wowed the crowd with his authoritative teachings as he went around Galilee and Judea. He appears, in Isaiah’s description, “like a lamb led to slaughter or a sheep silent before shearers, he did not open his mouth”(Is. 53, 7).
Actually, it is not that he is completely helpless. After all, he proved himself innocent of the crimes of which he was accused. Pilate could really have saved him, he (Pilate) having the authority to do so, based on his finding of innocence. But, alas, we have a weakling, a crowd-pleaser, and an indecisive official in Pilate. Ironically, his symbolic washing of hands, also sealed the fate of Jesus. As we relive, then, the great and loving act of Jesus to enter Jerusalem and undergo his passion, let us remember also those who like him, continue to suffer everyday – from violence, hatred, discrimination, injustice, and dehumanization. And let us pray that may we be able to carry our “crosses” daily, following Jesus who gave his life out of his great love for us.
Holy Week is very important to us who follow Jesus because we believe by his love he changed the world and the history of our lives. By his love, he gave his flesh, bones, and spirit to the word “Love” itself. By his love, we know that someone truly fell in love with us so that we can also fall in love with him and with our brothers and sisters. In our world today, we need love most of all. But only true love, the one like Jesus’ love can be a difference, can bring change to us and to the ones we love.
In this week, from Holy Monday to Wednesday, regular 8AM Masses are celebrated with confessions after them. For the schedule of the Paschal Triduum of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord, see the BULLETIN for details. This is all for now. ADVANCE HAPPY EASTER!!!
Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,