Palm Sunday (B)


PALM SUNDAY (B) Mark 14: 1-15: 47 – March 25, 2018

Christ became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross; because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name

Once I did a survey, among young people, about symbols they like to wear. I found out that many like to have a cross hanging from their necks, and wear cloths of a good brand. But the second question, was, which one do you identify with? Many would prefer the second one, rather than to be identified with a cross. In our contemporary society the cross is a symbol of suffering, pain and death. The cross is the symbol not only of the Holy Week, but the symbol for us Christians that Jesus so loved the world that he died for us on a cross. When the great artist Rembrandt painted his famous Crucifix, at a corner of his masterpiece he painted his own face. In the Crucifix we have at home we also may put our own picture, to remind ourselves that we are both responsible for the death of Jesus, but also that we are subjects of his immense love. Let us try today, in our reflection, to paint our face and our family´s in the crucifixion narration of today´s Gospel.

Of the four Gospels, Mark´s is the shortest one, yet we know almost everything Christ did during his last week on earth. Even being a short Gospel, Mark presents us a detailed and long narration of the Passion. For the Entrance Procession into Jerusalem, the Master had prepared all the details in advance. He had contacted the owner of the animal, so when he was ready, he just told his disciples, “Go into the village (…) untie it and bring it here. If anybody should ask you, ´Why are you doing this?´ replay, ´The Master has need of it and will send it back here at once.´”

Everything had perfectly worked out as it was planned. The entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem was the only triumphant demonstration where he encouraged people to recognize him as King. In other occasions he refused to it. He escaped to the mountains alone, because his hour had not come yet. This was one of the most emotional moments in his life, besides the Transfiguration, and of course, his Resurrection; but all of them related to the cross. There was a price on his head. The Jewish authorities were looking for him. They wanted him dead or alive. They paid Judas a thirty gold coin reward, but the account did not matter, there was a price on his head.

Today we have two proclamations of the Gospel during the solemn Mass of the commemoration of the Lord´s Entrance into Jerusalem. In the first one, for the Blessing of the Palms, we remember that the people who greeted Jesus made only an emotional statement of joy, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest! They welcomed Jesus as political Messiah, the supposed deliverer from their Roman enemies, but they were not ready to follow him on his way to the cross to deliver them from their sins.

Even though many of the people in Jerusalem were wrong when they welcomed him since they thought he was a political leader, they were perfectly right to proclaim him a Son of David, the Blessed one who came in the name of the Lord. They are the type of people who like to bring a cross hanging from their necks, even a fancy one, but they do not want to carry it.

After the Proclamation of the Passion from the Gospel of Mark we hear that when Jesus dies on the Cross, a Roman soldier now makes this statement:"Truly this man was the Son of God." The love we receive from a person gives us joy and life. Jesus loves us so much that we receive his life. As we enter into the holiest of all weeks, the Great Week, let us pray that we might have the courage to follow Christ and embrace our own cross in love and service to others.

An expert once said, “The cross reveals people's hatred for God, and God's love for people. Believing Christ died is history, and believing he died for me is salvation. While many people may be worthy of admiration, only Jesus is worthy of adoration.”

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