PALM SUNDAY (2019)
Psalms 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24
With Palm Sunday we come to the threshold of the holiest week of the church’s year and to the virtual end of the Lenten season. There are no palms in Luke’s version of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, but the exultant crowd, present in all three Synoptic accounts of this event, is there to add a certain irony to the occasion. Some of that same crowd shouting “Hosanna” at the arrival of the gentle preacher from Nazareth, will, in a matter of days, be screaming “Crucify Him” and calling for His death. With Palm Sunday we “herald with the whole Church the beginning of the celebration of our Lord’s Paschal Mystery, that is to say, of his Passion and Resurrection.” Our liturgies this week are not just a dry and empty recitation of all too familiar historical events. Rather, our celebrations are meant to move us deeper into the Lord’s Paschal Mystery where we can better appreciate the price that was paid for our salvation. The journey we begin today will take us from just outside the great city of Jerusalem, through an upper room filled with grace and blessing, to the barren hill of Golgotha where everything appears to end on a cross high above the city. Our journey doesn’t end there, but continues though a sun-filled morning outside of an empty tomb, where we witness our Lord and Savior return to His heavenly Father. Here we are filled with joy knowing that we have been shown the way back to the Father, and that we too will one day be reunited with the Lord whose Paschal Mystery we celebrate this week. This is the week that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad.