Palm Sunday, Year C
March 24, 2013
Today we begin no ordinary week. This week celebrates Jesus’ final days on Earth and so today we begin with his journey into Jerusalem.
He receives a royal welcome with the cloaks laid out and palms waving. He enters riding on a colt which fulfills the prophecy foretold in Zechariah 9 and that is absolutely essential to our understanding that while terrible things will happen to Jesus in the events of this week, God is in control.
Isaiah speaks of how the Suffering Servant gives his back to those who beat him. This is another prophecy fulfilled in Jesus. The Suffering Servant recognizes his power comes from God and Jesus always says it is the Father who sent him.
Paul, writing to the Philippians, speaks of how Jesus emptied himself to become human for us and humbled himself. We see this on the Cross.
All this Jesus endures with confidence because he knows that “The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced, I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.” (quote from end of First Reading).
God is in control!
The events of this week did not happen at some random time but at the Passover when God had set the Israelites free from slavery. Jesus’ Crucifixion sets us free from our sins.
God’s timing is perfect.
Jesus knows what is going on because God is in control. Jesus knows Judas will betray him.
Jesus knows Peter will deny him three times.
Jesus reminds the disciples that when he sent them out without a money bag, sack, or sandals he provided, showing they can trust him. He is telling them that even in the midst of what is about to happen, they can trust in him as he trusts the Father.
When Jesus is arrested, he does not resist because he knows God’s plan.
After his arrest, we continue to see prophecies fulfilled in the dividing of his garments.
Jesus went through his Passion knowing he could trust his Father. We can trust that Jesus walks with us in our own sufferings. We would love not to have to suffer. But we do and we follow Jesus’ example in suffering, handing it over to the Father.
This week truly is Holy Week.
Sometimes, we might think that since we hear the whole story of Jesus’ Passion today and will hear of the Resurrection next Sunday that we hear the whole story so we don’t need to come during the week. Thursday, we will focus on our call to service in the Washing of the Feet and the gift of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. On Good Friday, we again share the story of Jesus’ Passion but we will focus on what it really means for us. At the Easter Vigil we will share the story of Salvation History and welcome new members into our church.
This is Holy Week and I invite you to come as to as many of the services as you can. If you can’t, just remember what this week is about, our salvation!