HOMILY FOR PALM SUNDAY, YEAR A
THEME: THE JESUS EXAMPLE OF SUFFERING
My dearly beloved, (1)why did Jesus not rebel, or turn back? (2)Why did Peter, James and John not keep watch with Jesus? (3)Why did Judas hand Jesus over? (4)Why did Pilate think Jesus was innocent? (5)Why did the people call a ferocious curse on themselves?
Beloved, Today is Palm Sunday and the Church celebrates the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem to accomplish His paschal ministry (passion, death and resurrection). This celebration invites us to reflect on the ordeal and the humility of Jesus Christ.
The celebration has two parts, namely, procession with palm branches and the holy mass (in which the passion narrative is proclaimed to us.)
Beloved, Palm Sunday is also a celebration of symbols. The green palm is a symbol of peace which Isaiah 11:1-9;9:6 says “He shall be the Prince and King of Peace. It also stands for royalty and restoration. The crowd on the other hand stand for both praise and denial. For the same crowd singing hosanna today will soon shout “crucify him”. The donkey is a mark of the total humility of Jesus Christ (Zac. 9:9) This is what St. Paul talked about with great excitement. (Phil 2:6-11)
My dear friend, in the first reading, Isaiah talks about a servant of God who listens to God and proclaims His word even in opposition, insults and spittle. The servant did not avoid his ordeal but faced it bravely because God is his help.
In fact, Jesus Christ did not violate rules because he was Lord and King but unfortunately a practice is developing in this country where because of political affiliation, some people think the rules must treat them different and the laws of the land must be disregarded.
Think about the montie 3 saga, the Delta force issue and the galamsey menace in this country, and you will come face to face with the evils of our party politics. What is wrong is wrong no matter your party affiliation.
Beloved, the gospel also depicts the humble and peaceful character of Jesus’ Kingship as something that we are to learn from. Let us remember, that suffering is not reserved for sinners and that the innocent also suffer. However, we need to remain resolute in the face of suffering to our christian convictions.
Again, this celebration reminds us that Christ did not suffer to wipe out suffering from our lives but to teach us how to suffer. For Jesus, suffering will always accompany true love; hence anyone who wants to follow him must take up or carry his cross daily(Mtt 16:24).
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