Palm Sunday of The Lord’s Passion, Year A; 9th April 2017.
When they had come near Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and he will send them immediately.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their garments on them, and he sat on thereon. Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” And when he entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Today has got quite a twist in its readings. It begins with a joyful proclamation of “Hosanna” to Christ the Son of David on His entry to Jerusalem at the Blessings/Procession with Palms and ends with the shouts of “Crucify Him” during the Passion Narrative. It’s like the future being placed immediately the very beginning commences. Such gives us reasons to ponder on how we proclaim Christ’s goodness in our lives only to crucify Him when things seem to go bad; on how we proclaim His presence in us only to persecute Him when we become immersed in our sinful ways. This also goes to show how weak we humans are with praises and being true in our loyalty. The same ones who praise you today are the ones who are bound to persecute you tomorrow. More reason why Jesus draws us towards total surrender of our will to God as he did. He knew the shouts of Hosanna was only temporary till He suffered for our sins. He knew what laid ahead of Him was quite unbearable for a mere human, nevertheless He who, though in the form of God was made man, emptied Himself, remained humble unto death and steadfast to God the Almighty Father. How often have we claimed to love Christ but yet persecuted Him in our actions? How do we go about life when we feel betrayed by loved ones and close friends? How often do we turn to God so that He takes the cup of suffering from us if He wills?
Today, Christ enters Jerusalem with a donkey, a beast of “burden”. This is a significant reminder that He comes to bear our sins and take them on His journey to Calvary. This Holy Week, Christ beckons on us to go with Him all the way; to let go of those heavy bags of sin, hurt, tribulations and sufferings which weigh us down and turn us away from the glory and joy that awaits us during Easter. Jesus comes to save. Shout with joy that ‘Honassa’ as he enters through the door of your heart now.