Is 50:4-7; Phil 2:6-11; Mk 14:1-15:47
Bro. Ranjith Kishore
Dear fathers and brothers in Jesus Christ,
God planned to save the fallen man so, from the beginning He spoke through the prophets and holy people and finally in the person of Jesus of Nazareth God reconciled the whole world with Himself. All the readings of today tell us that since Jesus humbled himself God raised him from the dead and gave Him above every name and every knee should bow before Him. All the readings of today, tell us that if we humble ourselves and accept the will of God, God will bless us in this present life and reward us in the world to come.
Today we are celebrating or re-enacting the solemn procession of Jesus from Bethany to Jerusalem temple. This Sunday has two names Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday. Though it sounds strange, it is a Sunday to rejoice and a Sunday to mourn.
It is on Palm Sunday that we enter Holy Week, and welcome Jesus into our lives, asking him to allow us a share in his suffering, death and resurrection. This is also the time we remember and relive the events which brought about our redemption and salvation. That is why the Holy Week liturgy presents us with the actual events of the dying and rising of Jesus. The liturgy also enables us to experience in our lives, here and now, what Jesus went through then. In other words, we commemorate and relive during this week our own dying and rising in Jesus, which result in our healing, reconciliation, and redemption. Proper participation in the Holy Week liturgy will also deepen our relationship with God, increase our faith and strengthen our lives as disciples of Jesus. But let us remember that Holy Week can become "holy” for us only if we actively and consciously take part in the liturgies of this week. This is also the week when we should lighten the burden of Christ’s passion as daily experienced by the hungry, the poor, the sick, the homeless, the lonely and the outcast through our corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Passion Sunday liturgy combines contrasting moments, one of glory, the other of suffering: the welcome of Jesus into Jerusalem and the drama of his unjust trial and suffering, culminating in his crucifixion and death.
In the first part of the mass that is solemn procession we acclaimed Jesus Christ as king. Now we stop singing songs of joy and focus on the sufferings and death of Jesus. Christ’s suffering should make us to repent for our sins and to serve and love him more faithfully.
Prophet Isaiah lived Seven hundred years before Jesus Christ. Yet he wrote about his sufferings in minute details, that one would think he had been present at the passion and death of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit of God prompted him to write these things. In today’s first reading Isaiah tells, what the Suffering Servant of Yahweh should do for the salvation of the human race. Though it was very painful and shameful death, yet he has to fulfill this saving act with unmoved faith. Therefore God the Father in return glorified him at the resurrection.
In today’s second reading St. Paul writes to Philippians about Jesus, before he took human nature he was God, but to raise the fallen nature of man and to reconcile with God the Father he emptied himself and took the human nature, even in human nature he took the nature of slave. Though he was God he cannot die yet, to destroy death (cf. is.25:8) he died for us. Even he chose to die on the cross acre death. He went to Hades to preach them Good News. All these Jesus did as an obedience Son of the Father.
Today’s Gospel speaks a series of things, such as plotting of the chief priests and Scribes against Jesus, anointing at Bethany, Iscariot’s contract with chief priests to betray him and Preparation for the Last Supper. All these things tell us, full knowledge and consent of Jesus in enacting the Father’s will.
As Jesus entered into Jerusalem the crowds greeted him with shouts of joy, “Hosanna to the Son of David” and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”, and proclaimed him as the messianic king.” What was the crowd saying?. “Hosanna to the Son of David”. For the word Hosanna in Hebrew means save us now or save we pray. The crowd was asking Jesus to be saved from dominion and oppression of the Roman Empire.
What is our hosanna to Jesus today? From which oppression and dominion we have to be liberated? Jesus gives us the assurance that he is able to free us from the clutches of sin. So together with the crowd let us sing aloud ‘Hosanna. Jesus save us from the sins and temptations.’
Today our procession ended up in the church, which presents Jerusalem. In reality Jesus walked with us and will walk in our midst always. Let us recognize Him in our active participation in each and every holy day of the holy week that will lead us to the celebration of the glorious resurrection.
So are we ready to accept him as our King today? Which place we have given to Jesus in our life? Is he one among many of our priorities or the first and best in our life?
Dear Brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ,
As Jesus entered the Jerusalem temple, allow him to enter into our lives too and may he rule our life, our thoughts, our deeds and words. May this Sunday be a glorious Sunday by the presence of Jesus in our lives. AMEN