Palm Sunday 2016

     

     St. Luke organizes his entire Gospel around Jesus pilgrimage to Jerusalem, reminding his reader that the whole goal of Jesus’ life on earth was to go to Jerusalem to suffer, die and rise from the dead so that you and I could be lead from the slavery of sin into the freedom of grace. Today we gather to celebrate that triumphant entrance into the city of Jerusalem. We celebrate that day in history, when Christ, knowing that He was going to die a brutal death, freely entered the city of Jerusalem to complete His mission in life.

     This journey of Holy Week which we now embark on is a reminder to us of the total love that God has for each and every one of us, after all Jesus Himself teaches us, “there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”[1] This celebration of Holy Week reminds us that God loves us so much that He sent His only Son into the world to die, so that you and I might live.

     The Gospel account we just heard shows us the cost of discipleship. We hear about a large crowd of fair weather fans gathered to welcome our Lord into the city of Jerusalem only to vanish later in the week because it is better for their own self-interest. Even St. Peter, a man who had traveled with Jesus for three years, who had seen all of His miracles and even professed that Jesus is the Son of God, denied Christ.[2]

     Even though Peter abandoned Jesus in His hour of need, Jesus did not abandon, St. Peter. Rather He built him back up and made him the first leader of the Catholic Church. My friends even if we have abandoned Christ in the past, He has not abandoned us. He asks us to follow with Him on this journey of Holy Week, not because we are perfect, but rather because He wants to build us back up so that He can send us forth on Easter to proclaim the Good News of His Resurrection. Are we willing to walk with Christ to Calvary and rise with Him to new life, or will we turn away when it is easier?

     So I challenge us to make this week truly a Holy Week and I invite you to consider joining us on Holy Thursday at 7:30 for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper as we as we relive the Last Supper, Jesus’ agony in the garden and His betrayal, then join us on Friday at 3:00 pm as we celebrate the brutal death of Christ and reverence His saving instrument the cross.

[1] Jn 15:13

[2] Lk 9:19-20

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