A WORD FOR TODAY
PALM SUNDAY: BEFORE THE CROWN, CAME THE CROSS
"And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth," (Philippians 2: 8-11)
Today we celebrate the Palm Sunday or the Passion Sunday. It marks the beginning of the Holy week. It is called Palm Sunday, because Palms are blessed and distributed to commemorate Our Lord's triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The liturgy of today is made up of two parts, the procession with palms and the passion narrative.
The liturgy of today is all about Jesus, who He is to us and what His mission on earth points to. He went to Jerusalem on His way to Calvary and the people sang hosanna in the highest, recognizing in Him the Messiah who has come to redeem the world.
However, it will not be long before the same voice that sang hosanna at Palm Sunday will begin to shout, Crucify Him on good friday. This simply shows the fluidity in human beings in making a choice and standing by the choice they make. Do you betray Jesus or you are on the side of those who console Him.
The first reading of today from the prophecy of Isaiah makes reference to the predicament of the suffering servant of Yahweh. He was beaten up, insulted, slapped in the face, spat upon, but He never reacted but continued placing His trust in the Lord. This is the attitude of Jesus who came from the Father to save us from sin and death. He will experience the same thing in the hands of those He has come to save, but He will not react, but will give His life in love as a ransom for many.
The Second reading from saint Paul's letter to the Philippians tells us about Christ who humbled Himself in obedience to His Father's command and His name was highly exalted above all names for that singular act. We must learn from Jesus to know that the way that leads to joy must definitely come through certain levels of pain and suffering. There can be no crown without a cross. Therefore, we must humble ourselves like Jesus and let God's will be done in us always
Before the crown of Jesus and His victory over sin and death, came His suffering and death on the cross. He endured it and He has left us an example to follow. The passion narrative we read today from the gospel of Matthew is one that shows us what Jesus had to go through in order to bring us salvation. He did all in love and has left us a new way to follow, which is different from what was obtainable in the past. It is the way of the cross which is simply the way of true and authentic love.
We are the Jesus of this day and we must strive everyday to grow in our love of God and of our neighbour. We must love as Christ has loved us and we must give up everything for His sake and for the good of others, even those who have hurt us. We must learn from Him to forgive and let go at all times.
Humble yourself today like Jesus, suffer and bear pain for his sake, love others as He has loved you. Bear your cross well and be ready for your exaltation. Learn from Him and know that weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5)
Good morning dearest one. SmileðŸ˜Šas you begin your day and do have a fulfilling Palm Sunday and Holy Week celebrations. May Jesus give you the grace to love as He has loved us and died for us. And may the Almighty God bless you: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Meditation: Matthew 21:1-11/Isaiah 50:4-7/Psalm 22:8-9,17-24/Philippians 2:6-11/Matthew 26:14-27:66
Watch-Word: He emptied Himself and took the form of a servant.
To be like Jesus, you must be ready to suffer and die for others, but your suffering will not be in vain, because you will be exalted in due time.
(Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion: Cycle A)