Homily for Palm Sunday of the Passion of Our Lord Year C







Homily for Palm Sunday of the Passion of Our Lord Year C

Theme: The Gateway to Our Redemption

By: Fr. Anthony O. Ezeaputa, MA.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Pena Blanca, NM, USA

Homily for Sunday April 10 2022

 

On Ash Wednesday, we began this forty-day journey to Easter. Palm Sunday of the Passion of Our Lord marks the beginning of the final week of that long Lenten journey. This week is called the Holy Week because during this week, the final act of our redemption will be accomplished.

Today, we enter Holy Week by recalling the entrance of Christ the Lord into Jerusalem to accomplish his Paschal mystery for our redemption. On that day, more than thousand years ago, the people laid palms before Him, a gesture reserved for triumphant leaders.

We recall that event by blessing and distributing palms that may be used in a procession and kept as devotional objects. Sometimes, we craft crosses from palm fronds. These palms are eventually returned to the church and burned. Their ashes are traditionally saved and distributed at the next year’s Ash Wednesday services.

As we know, Holy Week precedes Easter Sunday. During this Most Holy Week, we will celebrate the events leading up to the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, specifically the Holy Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. As a result, Palm Sunday of the Passion of Our Lord, is the gateway to our redemption.

However, what actually does this redemption mean? In his encyclical letter, Spe Salvi, Pope Benedict XVI explains what it means to say that Jesus Christ has “redeemed” us in terms of absolute and certain love that even death cannot destroy.

According to the Pope emeritus, “It is not science that redeems man; man is redeemed by love.” So, love is at the heart of our redemption from the slavery of sin and eternal damnation that Jesus won for us through his Paschal mystery. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,” John 3:16 declares, “that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Benedict XVI goes on to clarify what this love consists of. He teaches that each time a man or woman has a profound experience of love, it is a moment of “redemption” because it gives his or her life new meaning. We quickly discover, however, that this love is transient; it fades away. Unfortunately, because it is not immortal, it can be destroyed by death.

I can imagine the excitement of purchasing the most recent car, but after a year, a better one is manufactured, and we want to replace the car that brought us so much joy and happiness with the most recent one. Or, better yet, we love our parents, but as we grow older, we realize that they won’t be around forever, and that one day they will die, leaving just memories of their love, because none of us is here forever.

Thus, we all need unconditional love, absolute love, and a certain love that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from (Rom 8:38–39). This is the love of Jesus Christ.

His love is absolute love without any conditions and with absolute certainty. So, it is through him that men, women, and children are “redeemed” from transient and temporal love, because regardless of what happens to us, we are certain that we are loved eternally. Pope Benedict XVI concludes that this is what it means when we say that Jesus Christ has “redeemed” us.

Dear friends, through Jesus Christ, we have become certain of God and of the eternal love of God for us. This is why today’s celebration, the Palm Sunday of the Passion of Our Lord, is the gateway to our redemption.

Today’s triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem leads us to Maundy Thursday, which is the institution of the Holy Eucharist; it leads us to Good Friday, which is the day we remember the crucifixion of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, True God and True Man, for our sins; and it leads us to the Easter Vigil, the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead.

Today, let us join our voices in singing, “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel.” Our redemption is at hand, and nothing can separate us from the eternal love of God. May Mary, Mother of the incarnate Word, guide and go with you, ready to intercede for everyone who comes into the world.

Fr. Anthony O. Ezeaputa, MA.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Pena Blanca, NM, USA


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