Posted by: livingscripture | April 5, 2009

Palm Sunday

From the Word of the Day


When the great crowd heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took palm branches and went out to meet him, and cried out: ‘Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the lord, the king of Israel.’  Jesus found an ass and sat upon it, as is written: ‘Fear no more, O daughter Zion; see, your king comes, seated upon as ass’s colt.’      (John 12, 12-15)

 – Taken from the Gospel for the Procession with palms-


How should we live this Word


Certainly we know that the selfsame crowd that goes to meet Jesus waving palm branches and crying out ‘hosanna’ is the same one that will cry out ‘Crucify Him’, in its impatience against Pilate’s hesitation.  The psychology of the masses is this vociferous crying out according to the waves and the pressures of the ideology of the moment.  The goal of our whole life and the itinerary of our very being are to avoid being women and men of the crowd but rather to simply be oneself within one’s own convictions of light.


But there is more.  There is the gesture of waving palm branches, a gesture of festivity, of applause that becomes a shared joy.  And there is above all, the acclamation ‘Hosanna!’ that recalls what the angels sang over the fields of Bethlehem.  It means ‘grant salvation’.  In effect, this sovereign is so humble and meek, that He wants to express His opposition to every lie and violence by entering Jerusalem seated upon a donkey.  He Himself is salvation personified.


Today in my pause for silent contemplation, as I enter into Holy Week, I will reflect on this scene of Jesus, Savior.  This momentary triumph is a scene full of the truth of Hosanna that foreshadows rejection and the cross.


Lord, grant that I may make my own the truth of Hosanna, singing to You this proclamation of You as Savior.  In contrast to the indifference and blasphemous expressions, my praising You is a way of being with the simple hearted, with those who were able to perceive You divine sovereignty of love in the simplicity of Your non-violence and meekness.


An anonymous voice of the Ninth Century


If Holy Mother Church today celebrates these events outwardly, it is so that they may be celebrated spiritually, which is much more important.  In fact, every holy soul is the Lord’s donkey.  The Lord seats Himself upon the donkey and directs Himself toward Jerusalem when He dwells in your souls, making them despise this world and love the heavenly country.

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