Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday.

Can you believe it? We are coming up to Holy week – the holiest week of our Catholic faith.

I don’t know about you but this Lent has flown by! I had so many plans and frankly did not get to do most of them.

That happens to a lot of us. We get busy with our jobs, our families, and things slip away.

But we still have a chance. It’s still not too late.

Palm Sunday is the final Sunday before Easter Sunday. It is called Palm Sunday to commemorate Christ’s triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. As Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a colt, he was greeted as a savior and the people placed palm branches were placed on the ground before Jesus.

Some people misunderstand when we say that Jesus is the Paschal Lamb. They think that Jesus was led like an innocent lamb to slaughter.

Nothing could be farther from the truth!

Jesus came to Jerusalem in power. He came to make a statement. Jesus knew that riding in on a colt was going to send a shock wave through the people because of the prediction from Zechariah which all the people knew and were anticipating.

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.

For the oppressed Jews, living in occupation under the hated Romans – this was like a cannon shot! Jesus could not have stated his intentions any clearer – Jesus was saying he was the King – the fulfillment of all the prophecies and the fulfillment of all the people’s anticipations.

Salvation had come…just not the way they thought.

But we don’t dwell on it. We go from the procession into the church and immediately we go into the reading of the Passion. The memory of the great triumph is quickly forgotten as we go into the last supper, the Passion in the Garden, the Betrayal, the questioning by Pilate and Herod, and the crucifixion.

Time seems compressed as these events are squeezed into a few days. We want it to slow down so can take it in – get the full meaning of these events, of this sacrifice.

But the good news is that it is still not too late. Even now, we can still slow down. Before we get wrapped up in buying new Easter clothes, in figuring out how we are going to work in the Easter Egg Hunt, and the soccer games…take a moment in the remaining days of Lent to reflect, to think about Jesus sacrifice for us, and what it means for us.

If we don’t take the time to think about it, does it still have meaning? And if it still has meaning – shouldn’t we take the time to think about it?

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