Passion Sunday (Year C)
Theme: Jesus emptied himself
Today as we celebrate Palm Sunday, we enter into the most important week in the life of the church; which was formerly referred to as Great Week, and is now known as the Holy Week. In St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians in today’s 2nd reading, he talks about the total self-giving of Jesus. He willing gave everything in humility and love; he emptied himself, and made the supreme sacrifice that brought us salvation sacrifice that led to his death on the cross. He humbled himself and trusted in God’s process, and he was exalted and given a name that is above every other name. Trust in Gods process, humility and service is some of the wonderful attributes that we need to emulate from Jesus in today’s liturgy.
It is also important to point out the contradiction, so to say, from the gospel reading and the passion narrative. A situation that reflects our true human reality and has not really changed much over the centuries. In the gospel reading for today we see the people leading Jesus triumphantly into Jerusalem, with all the wonderful praise and acclamations. While in the gospel narrative, we see the crowd condemning this same Jesus that was been applauded a few days ago. What does this say to you as a Christian in our own time? We must learn from the experiences that Jesus passed through during his own time. My brothers and sisters in Christ, there will be moments in our life when people will celebrate you and at other times they will antagonise you; just like they did to Jesus. The most important thing at such a moment in our life is to be prayerful, do what you can and trust in God’s grace; he is very near at such times.
In the passion narrative, we have a lot to learn from the different characters presented to us. The first person I would like to talk about is Judas Iscariot. This stems from the fact that, even in our own time people do a lot of things for the sake of money. Our greed and quest for money has led so many people to do things they are not proud of in their life. It is never too late to retrace our step and make that step of faith back to God. It is also important that we learn to always stand for what is right in any situation we find ourselves in life. Sometimes like Pilate and the crowd, we go along with the majority, even when we know that they are not right. May be because of what you stand to gain or because your friends have taken that decision and you do not want to lose their friendship.
My brothers and sisters and Christ, as we begin the Holy Week today, let us resolve to live a life that mirrors that of Christ and stands for the truth and what is right at all times; not minding whether the majority is with us or not. As we celebrate the passion of Christ today, may God grant us the grace of humility and service at all times. May almighty God bless you, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.