Reflections on the readings of Palm Sunday

Passion of the Lord

Is. 50, 4-7; Ps. 22; Phil. 2, 6-11; Mk. 14, 1 to 15, 47

By +Guy Sansaricq

Palm Sunday introduces us to the celebration of HOLY WEEK. First we joyfully recall the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. A large crowd then acknowledged him as the MESSIAH, as he humbly rode an ass not a white horse as worldly leaders do. Today, we too brandish palm branches in our hands to manifest our enthusiastic faith and love for HIM Our Lord and Savior. On this first day of Holy Week we rejoice as we know that his Passion and death will lead up to the exalting victory of Easter.

This note of joy however does not make us ignore the horrors of Jesus’ passion. The narrative of the PASSION is solemnly proclaimed at mass. We are spared no details from the anointing with embalming oil at Simon’s house the night before to the last supper and then the agony in the garden, the betrayal of Judas, the flight of the apostles, the arrest, Peter’s denial, the outrageous trials, the scourging, the crowning with thorns, the atrocities of the crucifixion, death and burial.  The entire revolting events of the Passion are proclaimed.

These events fulfill the prophecies of old. Jesus is the lamb of sacrifice slaughtered to reconcile us to the Father; He is the loving husband laying down his life for the sake of the Church his spouse; He is the worthy High Priest, the only one who can step into the Father’s Palace to intercede for us; He is the initiator of the NEW COVENANT; He is the opener of the gate of Paradise that was closed shut by the sin of Adam. By His Blood, HE SETS US FREE!  

The Church urges us to attend the services on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and indeed Easter Sunday. Be not confused but REDISCOVER THE FASCINATING MYSTERY OF CHRIST!