Palm Sunday gives a dramatic start to the Holy week. As we celebrate the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, we hear the joyous chorus of praise from the disciples and the crowd gathered, hailing Jesus as king. Immediately after that we hear the contrasting cry ‘Crucify him!’. As disturbing as it may sound, it is a reminder that acceptance and rejection are like two sides of a coin. We may find ourselves in both situations no matter what walk of life we are in.
Today, we may be praised, but it may not be the same tomorrow. We may be loved one day and hated the next. The same people who appreciate us today, could turn their back on us to go a different way. There is often an element of unpredictability hanging around the corner. This reality confuses us and sometimes makes us bitter, but we are reminded that there is a better way to face this dilemma: humility is the key, and Our Lord Jesus Himself sets us a great example throughout the scriptures.
Today’s readings highlight humility on many different levels. Starting from choosing to ride on a donkey instead of a horse to enter Jerusalem and then choosing to keep calm at the knowledge of the looming betrayal, until willingly surrendering to the hands of His oppressors to be put to a shameful death on a cross, our Lord’s response to appreciation as well as condemnation was that of humble resignation. In a special way, we are led to contemplate on our own responses to the many events that come our way, good and bad alike.
In fact, when we reflect on them one by one, we realise that it takes all the courage we have to keep our calm when someone simply talks to us in an accusing tone. Our instincts push us to react to prove our innocence. We find no peace in keeping quiet. Many a times the trials that come our way rarely pose a threat to our life, still we get so disturbed. But our Lord endured suffering and rejection through and through without letting them affect Him, and this is the same invitation we are being given today. Strong and mighty as He is, our Lord became weak and humble and died on a cross, earning the right to be exalted above all else. We too are invited to follow in His ways. Let us celebrate this Palm Sunday of the Lord’s passion, praising Jesus our King:
All glory, praise, and honour
To You, Redeemer, King!
To whom the lips of children,
Made sweet Hosannas ring.
Prayer: Abba Father, clothe us with humility and obedience so that the many challenges that come our way may cease to have control over us. Amen