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Palm Sunday - Fr Basil

Is. 50:4-7; Phil 2:6-11; Matt 27:11-54

The Church celebrates this sixth Sunday of Lent as both Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday. This is the place in the Liturgical year when the Church stops us so that we can remember and relive the events which brought about our redemption and salvation.

Today’s liturgy combines contrasting moments, one of glory, the other of suffering: the royal welcome of Jesus in Jerusalem, and the rigged trial, culminating in the crucifixion, death, and burial of the Christ.

The very same people whom Jesus loved and who waved palms for Him were the very same ones who betrayed Him and who demanded His death with clenched fists.

In contrast, Jesus gives himself with open hands to us in the Eucharist. Jesus’ love for you and me is total and unconditional. His hands are always open.

The theme for today’s celebration is: Our attitude must be Christ’s. When we talk about attitude, we also talk about people and who they are, because attitude is inseparable from people. Just like what happens in today’s gospel. When the people saw hope that Jesus would lead them to liberation, they shouted: “Hosanna!” But when they saw that Jesus wouldn’t follow their expectations, they shouted: “Crucify Him!” Attitude could not exist without the people and we could not have the knowledge of people without their attitude. Someone says that, what you say and do, is what you are.

Let us not cause Jesus to weep over us. Instead, let us repent and weep over our sins remembering the Jewish saying, “Heaven rejoices over a repentant sinner and sheds tears over a non-repentant, hardhearted one.” We need to imitate the prodigal son and return to God, our loving Father, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation during this last week of Lent and participate fully in the joy of Christ’s Resurrection. - We need to be fruit-producing, not barren, fig trees. God expects us to produce fruits of holiness, purity, justice, humility, obedience, charity, and forgiveness, instead of leading a barren spiritual life. - We need to welcome Jesus into our hearts in a special way during the Holy Week,as his supporters did on Palm Sunday by welcoming Him into all areas of our life as our Lord and Savior, singing “Hosanna,” and surrendering our lives to Jesus during this Holy Week. - We need to be ready to become like the humble donkey that carried Jesus. As we “carry Jesus” to the world, we may receive the same welcome that Jesus received on Palm Sunday, but we may also meet the same opposition, crosses, and trials later. Like the donkey, we are called upon to carry Christ to a world that does not know Him. Hence, let us become transparent Christians during this Holy Week, enabling others to see in us Jesus’ universal love, unconditional forgiveness, and sacrificial service. Amen.

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