Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
Luke 19:28-40; Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24; Philippians 2:6-11;Luke 22:14–23:56
It is you who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer a kingdom on you. (Luke 22:28-29)
Today begins Holy Week. This week we have the great privilege of standing with Jesus as he undergoes his passion.
Like the Twelve, we may not always do this perfectly. We may fall asleep in the garden instead of keeping vigil. We may strike out clumsily with a sword and miss the real foe. We may follow at a distance and even pretend that we don’t know him. Maybe we will join him only at the last moment, like the “good thief,” who recognized Jesus’ innocence and asked to be remembered in his kingdom. But no matter how successful we are, Jesus remains determined to do his Father’s will—all because of his love for us.
Today we read the story of Jesus’ passion from beginning to end. But as the week unfolds, we can relive these events more slowly, almost in real time. On Holy Thursday, we join Jesus at table and as he washes his apostles’ feet, institutes the priesthood, and offers the first Eucharist. Late into the night, we can keep watch with him in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. On Good Friday, we can accompany him along the way of the cross and stand by him on Calvary. At the Easter Vigil, we can celebrate his victory over death as we light a new fire and rejoice as our new brothers and sisters are baptized and received into the Church.
Don’t wait for the last minute! Start walking with the Lord today. Try to celebrate each liturgy with love and gratitude. Remember, Jesus is offering you nothing less than his kingdom. This is far more than the paradise he promised the good thief after death. It includes intimacy with Jesus right here, right now. Those who stay close to him will find the grace to transform suffering, the energy to live a new life, and the best comrades in the world.
“Jesus, thank you for enduring so much just to win our salvation. Help me to stand with you all week long.”~WAU