HOMILY FOR PALM SUNDAY (A)


By becoming human, ‘like us in all things but sin’ Jesus teaches us how important our everyday life and experience is; how precious is every act that we perform, every interaction with people around us, every emotion we experience. The Gospel stories help to shed light on and give meaning to events in our own lives.

Today and during the coming week we read of Jesus in the last week of his human life. His Passion Death and Resurrection. In the present climate of distancing, fear and uncertainty created by the Corona virus it is not difficult to link our experience to the Passion. We share together a world in suffering.

Social media provides us with a host of communications, many inspiring, others calling to prayer, some amusing and some simply frightening. I will not add another but simply invite us to a quiet time with the mysteries we commemorate this coming week. This can help as we allow what is happening to lead us deeper into ourselves and into God.

Some ways might be:

  • Today’s commemoration of Jesus entering Jerusalem gives us an insight into the kind of world He lived and died to bring about . It was the feast of the Passover. Everybody was up in Jerusalem. The Roman authorities would have used the opportunity to display their power, entering the city with their mounted cavalry. Christ comes in another gate, riding on a donkey. This picture faces us with the difference between focus on success, power and control and the deeper value of self-giving out of love. Take time to reflect of which values you wish to nurture in your life and ask for the help to follow that way.

  • Read mindfully the Passion story in one of the Gospels: Matthew 26 -27, Mark 14-15, Luke 22-23, John 18-19,

  • Try to be present to different scenes and allow them to speak to you: The Last Supper; Gethsemane; the Arrest; the Trials, both Judean and Roman; the way of the Cross and the Crucifixion.

  • Accompany Mary the Mother of Jesus as she follows every step of her Son’s Passion and stands at the foot of the cross with a heart big enough to be mother to all of us.

For Jesus, death was not the end. Easter morning brought new life and hope. So it will be for us too. John O Donohue in his ‘Book of Blessings’ expresses well the mixture of hard reality and hope.

This is the time to be slow,

Lie low to the wall, Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let the wire brush of doubt scrape from your heart all sense of yourself and your hesitant light.

If you remain generous, time will come good;

And you will find your feet

Again on fresh pastures of promise,

Where the air will be kind And blushed with beginning.”

Wherever you are and whatever your experience is please remember that you are not alone but are held in the loving arms of the Lord who passed through suffering and death to resurrection.

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