When the great crowd that had come to the feast heard
that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
they took palm branches and went out to meet him, and cried out:
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,
the king of Israel.”
Jesus found an ass and sat upon it, as is written:
Fear no more, O daughter Zion;
see, your king comes, seated upon an ass’s colt.
His disciples did not understand this at first,
but when Jesus had been glorified
they remembered that these things were written about him
and that they had done this for him.
Today we begin the holiest of all weeks of the year. This is when our spiritual spring training steps up a notch to get us ready for the game of life. This week we will re-present the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Please don’t let this week be just another week in your life. Just as the baseball players step up their concentration as they prepare for the long season at hand, we Christians also should increase our focus on how we are living as disciples of Jesus Christ to prepare for our life ahead.
Today is Palm Sunday, given the name because as Jesus entered Jerusalem for the Passover, the people waves palm branches and shouted “Hosanna!”, which means “save!” or help!” Jesus was coming to save and help them, but not in the way they expected.
When the Kings returned to town after a victory, they rode in on a horse, a sign of power. Jesus rides in on a donkey, fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, “Exult greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! Behold: your king* is coming to you, a just savior is he, Humble, and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Jesus came as a humble servant to win a battle, but not as a powerful military ruler, but as the Messiah who would die on a cross.
Sometimes we too have expectations of Jesus. We want Him to take away any suffering in our lives. We want life to be easy. We don’t want any pain if we surrender to Him. But Jesus came to unite Himself to us in our suffering and helps us carry our cross with hope, love and patience. He never promised to take away our suffering, but promised to help us through it.
Take time this week to attend the Triduum liturgies:
- Holy Thursday – we celebrate the institution of the priesthood and the Eucharist as we read about the Last Supper and the washing of the feet.
- Good Friday – we venerate the cross, which symbolizes Jesus’ incredible love for you and me and we read the Passion narrative.
- Holy Saturday – we hear the great story of salvation history and receive new people into the Church. We renew our own baptismal promises and celebrate the resurrection.
- Easter Sunday – the resurrection is the reason we have joy. We sing ALLELUIA once again to rejoice in Jesus conquering death by His rising from the dead.
What will I do this Holy Week to grow closer to Jesus?
How will I celebrate this most holy of weeks?
Have a blessed Palm Sunday,