Tag Archives: Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

Christ the King

“Let us confidently acknowledge and openly proclaim that Christ was crucified for our sake, declaring it with joy and pride, not with fear and shame. In this, the apostle Paul saw reason for boasting. He could have told us many great and holy things about Christ: how as God he shared with his Father the work of creation, and how as man like us he was Lord of the world. But he would not glory in any one of these marvelous things: ‘God forbid that I should boast of anything’, he said, ‘except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.’” (St Augustine)

Palm Sunday procession

verso01bPope Benedict said,  “Our procession today is meant, then, to be an image of something deeper, to reflect the fact that, together with Jesus, we are setting out on pilgrimage along the high road that leads to the living God. This is the ascent that matters. This is the journey which Jesus invites us to make.”

From whatever our vantage point on the road, be sure to follow the path Christ has given you. You ought not avoid the given-ness of Providence.

Palm Sunday 2015: Pope Francis recommends humility

Palm Sunday 2015At the heart of this celebration, which seems so festive, are the words we heard in the hymn of the Letter to the Philippians: “He humbled himself” (2:8). Jesus’ humiliation.

These words show us God’s way and the way of Christians: it is humility. A way which constantly amazes and disturbs us: we will never get used to a humble God!

Humility is above all God’s way: God humbles himself to walk with his people, to put up with their infidelity. This is clear when we read the Book of Exodus. How humiliating for the Lord to hear all that grumbling, all those complaints against Moses, but ultimately against him, their Father, who brought them out of slavery and was leading them on the journey through the desert to the land of freedom.

This week, Holy Week, which leads us to Easter, we will take this path of Jesus’ own humiliation. Only in this way will this week be “holy” for us too!

We will feel the contempt of the leaders of his people and their attempts to trip him up. We will be there at the betrayal of Judas, one of the Twelve, who will sell him for thirty pieces of silver. We will see the Lord arrested and carried off like a criminal; abandoned by his disciples, dragged before the Sanhedrin, condemned to death, beaten and insulted. We will hear Peter, the “rock” among the disciples, deny him three times. We will hear the shouts of the crowd, egged on by their leaders, who demand that Barabas be freed and Jesus crucified. We will see him mocked by the soldiers, robed in purple and crowned with thorns. And then, as he makes his sorrowful way beneath the cross, we will hear the jeering of the people and their leaders, who scoff at his being King and Son of God.

This is God’s way, the way of humility. It is the way of Jesus; there is no other. And there can be no humility without humiliation.Following this path to the full, the Son of God took on the “form of a slave” (cf. Phil 2:7). In the end, humility means service. It means making room for God by stripping oneself, “emptying oneself,” as Scripture says (v. 7). This is the greatest humiliation of all.

There is another way, however, opposed to the way of Christ. It is worldliness, the way of the world. The world proposes the way of vanity, pride, success… the other way. The Evil One proposed this way to Jesus too, during his forty days in the desert. But Jesus immediately rejected it. With him, we too can overcome this temptation, not only at significant moments, but in daily life as well.

In this, we are helped and comforted by the example of so many men and women who, in silence and hiddenness, sacrifice themselves daily to serve others: a sick relative, an elderly person living alone, a disabled person…

We think too of the humiliation endured by all those who, for their lives of fidelity to the Gospel, encounter discrimination and pay a personal price. We think too of our brothers and sisters who are persecuted because they are Christians, the martyrs of our own time. They refuse to deny Jesus and they endure insult and injury with dignity. They follow him on his way. We can speak of a “cloud of witnesses” (cf. Heb 12:1).

Let us set about with determination along this same path, with immense love for him, our Lord and Saviour. Love will guide us and give us strength. For where he is, we too shall be (cf. Jn 12:26). Amen.

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday HosannaChesterton’s “The Donkey”

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

Jesus made an ass of Himself

palm sunday.jpg

We hear of a critical experience of the Lord who enters gloriously into Jerusalem changing once again all of history. Salvation history known in Jesus crucified and risen rides into our lives on the back of a donkey. The King of kings, the Messiah of the world, has made an ass of himself. The gospel reveals something unique about Jesus and the way He uses created things to announce the Kingdom of God.
We want to meet Christ this week. Today, Palm Sunday, we see a donkey the sign of derision. But why is a donkey important to our walking in faith, building up the Church and confessing the Divine Presence, why is this animal critical to our own personal conversion?

Bishop Hugh Gilbert, OSB, bishop of Aberdeen, Scotland, tells us about Christ, the donkey and our willingness to become useful for Christ.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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