Today, Palm (Passion) Sunday, the liturgy sets before us the great events of Holy Week – betrayal, the suffering, death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We listen today to the drama of the Lord’s Passion as given to us in St Mark’s Gospel. But let us not forget the message from the first reading, Isaiah 50, depicting the suffering servant, Jesus who suffered on our behalf.
We have the beautiful words written by St Paul to the people of Philippi from his prison cell in Rome. That new Christian community in Philippi, tormented by internal disputes and resistance from outsiders are reminded, as we are too, that Christ our Saviour suffered humiliation and therefore was raised to new life so that we could live that same new life.
“His state was divine, yet Christ Jesus did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave … Therefore God raised him high…”
Let us listen with attention to the drama of the Passion, with gratitude to God for sending his Son, Jesus to be our advocate, saving us from sin and eternal death. Jesus enters Jerusalem with shouts of welcome – it was those very same voices who chanted ‘crucify him, crucify him’ some days later. The Gospel challenges us to think of our Christian lives and we now move into Holy Week with confidence.
This Holy Week is a time of blessing, let us pray that we can make the most of this special time. Please make sure to have a copy of the timetable for the Holy Week ceremonies and tell others too. Don’t forget the crosses and water for blessing!
God bless, Fr. Joe