Palm Sunday – Ap 2, 2023
A priest asked a little girl what she thought of her first Palm Sunday Mass.
“The music was great,” she said, “but the commercial was too long.” (The Word’s Greatest Collection of Clean Jokes by Bob Phillips)
Yes, today’s proclamation of the passion of Christ is a long commercial or sorts, but one which is vitally necessary to understand the importance of the events that we will enter into more fully on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday.
Today is the day when Jesus dramatically enters into Jerusalem as the Messiah, the Savior of the World.
- imagine the excitement in the eyes
- imagine the hopes and dreams of the onlookers as they see Jesus enter the City of Peace.
His entry is…
- necessary to fulfill prophecy
While that physical entry into Jerusalem certainly is an important aspect of Jesus’ life story, his triumphal entry into Jerusalem can also be seen, on another level….
- as God’s decisive entry into the lives of all people,
- those who are accepted and those who aren’t,
- those who exercise justice and those who are victims of injustice,
- those who feel far away from God and those who are self-righteous and don’t even know that they’re not on the path that leads to life.
- And all the people in between.
- as a representation of the willingness or lack, thereof, of each and every sinner to deal with the sin and its effects on their own and to take ownership of our common sinfulness as a body of believers.
- as Jesus’ solidarity with the outcast, the criminal, the one who is just too poor to be noticed.
- as a challenge Jesus gives to each of us, to let him enter our hearts and achieving that peace of heart that necessarily is found only through being agents of God’s sense of justice and advocacy for those who have been unjustly treated by the rich and the powerful.
It’s by entering into this dramatic journey from being acclaimed the Messiah, to being arrested, judged, and condemned to die on the cross, that ultimately enables us to experience the reconciliation we long to have with God and with one another.
It’s Jesus’ Precious Blood, shed on the cross, that proclaims more boldly than any words ever could, that peace comes at a price.
And Jesus was willing to pay for it ALL, out of love for us.
Are we willing to be heralds of God’s reconciliation with all people by our commitment to peace and social justice? Jesus hopes our answer is ‘yes.’
For such a commitment made on Palm Sunday, is a building block that will lead us to the joy of the resurrection.
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