“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” These words that make up our responsorial psalm and said by our Lord in the proclamation of the passion remind us of something similar we might say from time to time especially during times of trial. This liturgy for Palm Sunday is a journey and because it is a journey there are several things we can take away from it.
In the very beginning of the liturgy we had the proclamation of the Gospel from John commemorating the Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem. When the crowd got wind that the Lord was about to enter town they ran immediately picking up palm branches along the way to greet Him. During these next two weeks we will gather together as a family of faith celebrating the very fact that the Lord is in our midst. Jesus drew a crowd, and still draws crowds today.
Like with any journey things can begin to wear off over time. There are two ways we can look at the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ the first way as I look at it every year, “this is how much Jesus loved us.” Before we look at it in that context, I want to put ourselves in the position of the crowd. While there might be times in which we are excited to see Christ, there is also a human tendency on our part to turn ourselves away from Him. As we began our reflection with, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me,” we must understand that the Lord never abandons His people like He never abandoned Christ on the road to Calvary. However, because of our human nature we are often the ones who turn away from Him. Once we see ourselves in the shoes of those in the crowd can we grasp our need for healing and growth!
Today we mediated on the mystery of the Cross and reflected on the extent of the Lord’s love for us. As we together heard in the proclamation of the passion our Lord was scourged, they crowned Him with thorns, struck His head with a reed and spat on Him all in preparation for putting our Lord to death. Jesus endured all this for you and me and He challenges every individual to carry their own crosses and follow after Him. Who are we to attempt to throw down our crosses after all the Lord has done for us. After all many of the crosses we have to endure do not compare to what He endured for each of us. If one needs encouragement to carry a cross look to Jesus! The cross is meant to be embraced by all for all because the cross is very the means to salvation.
Brothers and sisters we are preparing to enter into Holy Week, the week which ultimately changed the world. Our challenge this week is to allow our commemoration of this week to change our own lives. I invite you to enter into these mysteries, by attending the services on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. While it is of course not a holy day of obligation these are no doubt the holiest of days of the year. Also in your homes, take some time to mediate and pray together as a family reflecting on these important mysteries. Allow yourselves time to enter into the mysteries of these next several days. On this Palm Sunday may we reflect on today’s journey reflecting on the highs and lows of this day! May we face the highs and lows head on and embrace the Lord’s divine plan which sometimes brings challenges so that we may experience true everlasting happiness.