HOMILY FOR PALM SUNDAY YEAR A.
THEME: TRIUMPHANT ENTRY.
BY: Rev Fr Oselumhense Anetor, from a Sermon by Rev. Fr. Francis Ealefoh (Uromi Diocese).
Luke 19.28-40; Is. 50:4-7; Ps. 22:8-9, 17-18a, 19-20, 23-24 (R.v.2a); Phil 2:6-11; Luke 22:14-23:56
Today, Jesus enters triumphantly into Jerusalem, riding on a colt. The People welcome him with loud acclaim, spreading their clothes on the ground before him and singing Hosanna. Our five and half weeks of Lenten preparation has brought us to this point. Today’s celebration is divided into two distinct parts – the Procession with Palms and the Holy Mass. In one celebration, the mood swings from joy to tragedy, from Jesus’s glorious entry into Jerusalem to the Gospel proclamation about his suffering and death.
RELATED: HOMILY FOR PALM SUNDAY YEAR A.
Friends, as we process through our Churches todays, with palms in our hands, let us also sing with enthusiasm: ‘Christ conquers, Christ is king, Christ is our ruler.’ However, there is a difference in our case; for we know the end of the story and what is to come. And because of that, we sing with even greater conviction about the greatness of Jesus – the one who bore our sufferings patiently; the one who laid down his life for us.
The Second Reading from Paul’s Letter to the Philippians is a summary of ‘the great mysteries of our redemption,’ and it rightly serves as a preview of the events of Holy Week. It describes how Jesus, though Son of God, “emptied himself’” of divine glory and took the form of a man like us except sin. Out of love and obedience, he willingly accepted his death, “even death on a cross.” Therefore, “God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above all name. In the passion narrative according to Luke, the evangelist presents Jesus as ‘the Saviour of mankind.’ From the outset, St. Luke also establishes Jesus’ death as an ‘innocent’ martyr.
Only in St. Luke’s narrative does Pilate pronounce Jesus innocent three times. Again, only St. Luke has Herod declaring Jesus’ innocence. We also notice the centurion’s statement, “Surely, this was an innocent man.” Even one of the criminals crucified with Jesus attests his innocence, “We are only paying the price for what we’ve done, but this man has done nothing wrong.”
During this Holy Week therefore, we watch, not just to admire, but also to learn, to penetrate the mind, the thinking, the attitudes and the values of Jesus so that we, in the very different circumstances of our own lives, may walk in his footsteps.
Good morning dear. Happy Palm Sunday. Have a blessed day ahead.
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