The Week That Changed The World

2021 Palm Sunday (B)

This was one of my favourite days in Jerusalem. For five years I attended the Palm Sunday procession into Jerusalem; retracing the steps of Christ and his disciples. It was a happy event, a celebration just as it was in Jesus’ day. People were cheering him, as he rode  on the colt of a donkey. It was only later in the week that things turned nasty and dark. The Passion narrative that we have just heard is solemn; it is meant to be. What happens is the most important event in the history of humankind.  God the Father, out of love for us, sent His son to redeem us. Even though His son was divine the Father allowed him to become fully human. Do you see the way they treated him? T The soldiers crown him mockingly with thorns, they spit at him: think about that: has anyone ever spat at you? Jesus the Son of God was spat upon! And they got down on their knees and mocked him. They wanted to humiliate him, and to the outside observer they did. But Jesus accepted all this. He was surely thinking of the words of the prophet Isaiah: ‘The Lord comes to my help, so that I am untouched by the insults. So, too, I set my face like flint; I know I shall not be shamed.’ And he went through all this and more for love of us. All of us: the saints and the sinners. 

This week, beginning today, we enter into the most important week of the Church, indeed of the world, when we accompany Christ into Jerusalem. There we watch him being treated with bitter contempt. We will see him suffer and eventually die. But most important of all we shall see him rise from the dead. This gives us hope; a hope that can never be taken from us. We may have contributed to his Passion but we shall certainly share in his resurrection.

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