Reflection for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion Year C 2022
As we begin this week- the Holiest Week of the liturgical year – it is fitting that we think about the final days of the earthly life of Jesus. One contemporary Catholic writer reflects on Holy Week and on Jesus as he began to make the passage from the one who was healer to the one who was wounded , man of compassion became the man in need of compassion , from the man who proclaimed: If anyone thirst, let them come to me to drink, Jesus became the man who cried out, I thirst. From announcing the Good News to the poor, Jesus became poor . He crossed over the boundary line of humanity which separate those whose needs are satisfied from those who are broken and cry out in need.*
During this week, we participate in a unique drama that comes from the life of a unique man: Jesus of Nazareth. From a human point of view, the story intrigues us because of what it encompasses: the ready cheers of the crowds as recalled in today’s procession, to the cries of a mob demanding execution. The pledges of loyalty and expressions of faithfulness to Jesus as soon forgotten and acts of betrayal come from some of his closest companions. All this is the human side of the story that we tell this week.
For us we relive the story from the point of view of faith, from the point of view of being disciples of Jesus, the human drama of this week is also the unfolding of the divine drama. The story of this week is also a God’s story. God’s presence revealed in this man, Jesus of Nazareth; God’s word about this man, Jesus ; God’s faithfulness to and judgment about this man, Jesus of Nazareth.
Each one of those statements becomes a question that is we must wrestle with. Where is the presence of God in such innocent suffering? Is God’s word revealed in a man so completely rejected?
It’s not enough to say that the answers will become clear on Easter Sunday. If we have not lived the questions; if the questions have not pierced our hearts on the journey from the cheers today to the empty silence of Saturday. To understand Easter Sunday, we must to travel the road that takes us through this Sunday to the Easter Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
That is what I invite you to today. Begin the journey of this week, travel the road with us and let the questions of these days touch your hearts so that we can begin together to grasp the great hope that is ours when we say the simple words of next Sunday – He is risen. He is not here. He goes before us.
*jean Vanier, The Broken Body
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