Palm Sunday Is 50:4-7; Phil 26:6-11; Mt 26:14-27:66 (Year A)
“And when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil. ‘Who is this?’ people asked, and the crowds answered, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’”
The Evangelist described the Jerusalem that Jesus entered for the last time as a city in turmoil. The restless crowds wanted answers: “Who is this man?” The coming events would reveal both the truth about Jesus, and the truth about themselves.
Let us, at a time of unparalleled disruption and fear, welcome the same Jesus.
He comes to us, as he came to that troubled city long ago, in humility, riding on a donkey. With the same humility, let us welcome him into our fears and hopes, our frailties and vulnerabilities. Here, in the days ahead, he will reveal to us the truth of his saving love and the truth about a broken world that cries out for his healing love.
The words of the prophet Isaiah, which anticipated Our Lord’s perfect communion with his Father in all that lay ahead, describe the attentive heart that should lead us into Holy Week.
“The Lord has given me a disciple’s tongue [a tongue that listens]. So that I may know how to reply to the wearied, he provides me with speech. Each morning he wakens me to hear, to listen like a disciple.”
Listening is so much more than superficial hearing. To listen is to surrender ourselves completely to the one who speaks. In prayer, let us anticipate the request that Jesus made of his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Wait here, and keep watch with me.”
Guided by the same Spirit that had accompanied Jesus throughout his life, let us listen to a Lord who did not turn back nor resist the chalice entrusted to him by his Father.
As we face the truth about ourselves, may we, with the Lord, be brought to a humility that clings not to itself, but to the Father’s love. “His state was divine, yet Christ Jesus did not cling to his equality with God, but emptied himself. He was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross.”
As we enter Holy Week, may we remain close to Lord. With and through him, may we die to sin, so as to be raised in the power of his Resurrection.