Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion - Year A
"Hosanna ! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord ! Blessed is the coming kingdom!"
Homily of 24/03/2013 (trans. © copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)
"Hosanna ! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord ! Blessed is the coming kingdom!" (Mk 11,9f)
Jesus enters Jerusalem. The crowd of disciples accompanies him in festive mood... The crowds acclaim him as King. And he does not deny it, he does not tell them to be silent (Lk 19,39-40). But what kind of a King is Jesus? Let us take a look at him: he is riding on a donkey, he is not accompanied by a court, he is not surrounded by an army as a symbol of power. He is received by humble people, simple folk who have the sense to see something more in Jesus; they have that sense of the faith which says: “Here is the Saviour.”
Jesus does not enter the Holy City to receive the honours reserved to earthly kings... he enters to be scourged, insulted and abused... He enters to receive a crown of thorns, a staff, a purple robe: his kingship becomes an object of derision. He enters to climb Calvary, carrying his burden of wood... to die on the Cross. And it is precisely here that his kingship shines forth in godly fashion: his royal throne is the wood of the Cross!... Why the Cross? Because Jesus takes upon himself the evil, the filth, the sin of the world, including the sin of all of us, and he cleanses it, he cleanses it with his blood, with the mercy and the love of God.
Let us look around: how many wounds are inflicted upon humanity by evil! Wars, violence, economic conflicts that hit the weakest, greed for money... Love of power, corruption, divisions, crimes against human life and against creation! And – as each one of us knows and is aware - our personal sins: our failures in love and respect towards God, towards our neighbour and towards the whole of creation. Jesus on the Cross feels the whole weight of the evil, and with the force of God’s love he conquers it, he defeats it with his resurrection. This is the good that Jesus does for us on the throne of the Cross. Christ’s Cross embraced with love never leads to sadness, but to joy, to the joy of having been saved and of doing a little of what he did on the day of his death.
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