Homily for Palm Sunday – 2019
Dearly Beloved, today’s liturgy begins Holy Week. The Holiest of all the liturgical weeks in the church’s year. We have begun by commemorating the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, more popularly known as Palm Sunday / Passion Sunday. The disciples and the crowd hailed Jesus as the king who comes in the name of the Lord. The scene has a fiesta atmosphere with people shouting: “Hosanna!” or hail to the king. Jesus was welcomed with a hosanna because during His public ministry, He cured their sickness, fed the hungry and performed other miracles for them. These material and physical favors aroused the enthusiasm of the crowd to a point that they wanted Him to be their king. In other words, they were His fans and Jesus was their idol. But this was not going to last. They were somehow frustrated by their expectation of Jesus as the Messiah who will liberate them from the bondage of slavery. That was when they realized that after all, Jesus was not going to organize a revolt against the Roman’s occupation.
Jesus “betrayed” His fans’ political dream of a violent take over. The Jesus Fan Club disintegrated and became even more hostile. The people who idolized Him, will very soon wish for His death.
Beloved, the mysteries, revealed by the passion story, are so deep. God never stops revealing His plan and purpose every time we meditate on these mysteries. I feel inspired this day to encourage you to do one thing as the days of Christ’s passion draw near. Find every opportunity to immerse yourselves with the narrative of the passion story of Christ from the gospels. Literally, be absorbed and be buried in the mysteries of the passion story.
Dearly Beloved, I know how difficult at times it can get during the week. I understand how busy your schedules may be for this particular week; however, I wish you could do one thing. “Tell the story of the passion and record it in your own words.” Can you summarize and tell the passion story within 15 to 20 minutes if I asked you to do it? This is what you will do. First, read the passion narrative from either Matthew, Luke or John. Take your phone and record the story as you tell it to the best of your ability. Then playback and listen to your version of Christ’s story. I sincerely hope you guys will give this a try. That is what I am hoping you will spend some time doing in this Holy Week. It is my prayer that your holy week will be grace-filled and rewarding according to the riches of God’s love and mercy.