Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
Today we begin the most “sacred” week of the year, Holy Week. And it is indeed “holy” for during this week we remember the events of those last few days of Jesus’ life and what happened immediately after his death.
The week begins and ends in glory. The glory of Jesus being welcomed into Jerusalem in triumph with hosannas and palm branches; the crowds recognizing Jesus as “the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” The week ends with the glory of Easter, the resurrection, the overcoming of sin and death by Jesus for us all.
In between these glorious moments we witness the power of evil and the absolute love of God.
As we recall these events we remember the jealousy and hatred, lies and deceit of the Scribes and Pharisees. We witness the brutality and violence of the scourging, crowning with thorns, crucifixion and death imposed by the Romans. We watch as fear generates so much uncertainty and mistrust leading to the betrayal by Judas and the abandonment of Jesus by his friends.
Yet at the center of all this fear, deceit, violence and brutality stands Jesus, steadfast through it all:
- accepting everything with trust in the Father;
- showing compassion for the weakness of those around him;
- forgiving those caught up in betrayal and brutality.
We remember these events because they happened and through them the world, our lives and those of all humanity was changed.
We remember…not only with our minds but with our hearts. In remembering we invite Jesus into our hearts to transform them…to make them more like his own.
Fr. Michael Higgins, C.P. is the director of Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.