Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
Readings: Procession with Palms –Lk 19:28-40
Close to two thousand years ago, an innocent man began a week that would sharply turn its course from joyous celebration to unthinkable suffering. While knowledge of this unfolding scenario of events was unbeknownst to his loyal followers and those gathering to greet him upon his arrival to the beloved royal city—its’ impending progression was engraved deep within his being.
He was committed to ushering forth radical change in his world to address what had gone awry and was both loved and reviled, the latter setting the stage for the traumatic events that are chronicled in Sacred Scripture and proclaimed to all the world during the holiest of weeks.
Throughout his time on earth, on his journey to restore the intended right order, he was a champion, companion, counselor, healer, and teacher. He was strong, humble, honest, compassionate, non-judgmental, forgiving, merciful, and peaceful. He drew his strength from prayer and he left us with a call to serve one another nourished by his own self, the very personification of love. He was of the world but not of the world, an identity forever beyond the limits of the human mind.
The barbaric end to his life in the world ripped open hearts, tears freely flowed and continue to flow down through the centuries and to now:
A planned torture to hold onto power… a thriving nation now relentlessly tortured
Outsider, a question of class… unwelcome, wrongly judged, victims of prejudice
Betrayed for riches… the poor, marginalized and vulnerable held hostage by benefits for others
Washing of hands… look the other way
Beaten-scourged… punched, pushed, robbed, shot
Heartbroken mother…. a grief-stricken mother embraced and held up by others
Feeling “Abandoned”…avoiding responsibility
Innocently murdered … senseless loss of life
Along with his followers, we partake, we are there, we are here; we cry as our hearts follow the call to love and serve.
As we begin this Holy Week I pray we embrace the familiar readings of today with a new lens for our times.
In our reflection and prayer, may we “celebrate”-uplift- and support the goodness that shines in our world through the actions of all those who champion, companion, and work to heal; and may we honestly assess our own continuing capacity and willingness to usher forth radical change as bearers of new hope to humanity.
Sr. BarbaraAnn Sgro, OP