Browsing Homilies

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Mk 11:1-10 | Is 50:4-7 | Ps 22 | Phil 2:6-11 | Mk 14:1-15:47

The procession celebrating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem overflowed with praise and excitement, as onlookers waved these triumphant branches and proclaimed their blessings.

Yet, in only a few days, they will cry out, “Crucify him!” The crowd’s change of heart illustrates the problem of holding God to our expectations.

The crowd expected a liberating leader, the Messiah, to free them from Roman oppression. Jesus instead takes up his Cross and invites us to do the same.

Through his Death and Resurrection he is indeed a liberator, but from Death and sin, not from Rome or any other world power. Unable to see past their need, the crowd’s disappointment turns into anger and a death sentence is demanded.

As we enter into Holy Week, Palm Sunday teaches us to let God be God, and to trust in God’s wisdom, not only to meet, but to shatter and exceed our expectations.

This takes great humility, and our opening prayer highlighted just that. It asked that “we may heed his lesson of patient suffering” in order to “merit a share in his Resurrection.”

This is the mystery we enter into this day and throughout this week, culminating in the Sacred Paschal Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.

This is the holiest week of the entire Church year.

Little, if anything else, matters this week.

How will you choose to participate in the public prayer of the Church throughout these coming days? Because it is through the celebration of these liturgies, in which we seek to participate in the mystery of Christ’s dying and rising. We are never attempting to re-create history, or simply remember history; but rather, within that single celebration spread over the course of three days, we enter into mystery.

It’s through this participation that we seek to be transformed in such a way, that our lives may more closely be a reflection of His way of humility; and as a result, we are made all the more aware of the terribly extravagant price that was paid for our salvation.


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