March 20, 2016 — Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
Today, Palm Sunday, is the sixth and last Sunday of Lent and marks the beginning of Holy Week for us. Officially the Church calls this day Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. There is a dichotomy in this name that we must acknowledge for it reflects, in many ways, who we are and how we sometimes act.
On the one hand is Palm Sunday, a time of celebration that marks Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. It is a time of joy and celebration and we all festively raise our palms in salute to our King. However, as the readings continue, the mood turns somber with the reading of the Passion of the Lord.
As we stand for this Gospel, and play a part, we call out, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” What a change, beginning with Hosanna! and ending with condemnation. Although we may be intellectually aware that we are playing the part of the people of Jesus’ time, we really must reflect on whether this also represents how we can be today.
Do we glorify Christ at one moment, but then condemn him through our own actions, our own inability to fulfill His expectations for us? Of course we do. As Lent culminates and Easter comes upon us, it is time for us to admit our sins and to vow as good stewards to live out the love to which the Lord has called us. Jesus made His sacrifice for us with determination to save us. Should we not show the same fortitude in converting our lives?