Reflection - Palm Sunday 2011
Palm Sunday presents an opportunity to reflect on that great quest unique to human beings- to find meaning in life. Integral to this reflection is our attitudes and our treatment of others. Jesus’ message was one of love: love of God and love of others. Nowhere is there a greater example of this love, in action, than in the love Jesus had for all mankind.
Jesus entered Jerusalem in a seemingly triumphant manner, even though He had ridden on a most humble mode of transport: a borrowed donkey. He entered to the sound of hosannas shouted by the people and palm branches strewn on the roadway. Yet there was a sense of foreboding. The entry seems to foreshadow the days and the events to come. He was hailed as the New Messiah, come to work great wonders. Jesus knows, however, that this will incite even more hatred and resentment on the part of the Scribes and Pharisees. The very people who welcomed Jesus on Palm Sunday would turn against Him and call for His execution in the coming days.
Our Lenten journey presents us with many challenges: Where can we find, in this sceptical and often cynical world, the courage to revitalize our relationship with God? Where can we find the motivation to do our part for the good of others? As Christians, we are shown, through Palm Sunday, the perfect example.
Sacrifice, it is said, is the strongest evidence of love. Jesus followed through on the horrible events to come, to present to us an example of opening ourselves to the promise of God’s faith, Hope and Love. The faith we have in the Supreme Sacrifice made by Jesus, our belief in His suffering, death and resurrection gives meaning to our lives and enables us to do for others.
Jesus gives us the courage to speak up in order to bring about change in the individual lives of those we encounter in our families, neighbourhoods, cities and nations. It is not sufficient to simple believe in something – we must be willing to follow the example of Jesus and be willing to work and act on our beliefs.
Do we empathize with others when they encounter difficulties and hardships, of do we experience satisfaction when others are brought down?
Do we, as Christians, have the courage to speak up for what we know is right?
Do we continue to strengthen our relationship with God or are we often complacent and just travel through life without committing to anything?
Do we hear the cries of the people of North Africa and the Middle East, as they strive for freedom and justice and pray that the needless loss of innocent lives can be prevented?
Can we, in our daily lives, reverse the events initiated by Palm Sunday, turn away from out past rejection of Jesus, and embrace Him in triumphal acceptance?
Dear God, help me to accept my responsibility towards others in my family and in the larger communities of the world. Help me to be mindful of the good that lies beneath a person’s appearance. Help me to accept them as part of the same divine creation as I am. Help me to carry your Word to all those with whom I come into contact by my treatment of them.
— Catherine Carey, PBVM Associate
Theresa Carey, PBVM Associate