Thought of the day
Sunday, April 9, 2017

Passion (Palm) Sunday

Blessed Guerric of Igny (c.1080-1157), Cistercian abbot Sermon for Palm Sunday “ Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord ”

Passion (Palm) Sunday

Commentary of the day 

Blessed Guerric of Igny (c.1080-1157), Cistercian abbot Sermon for Palm Sunday

        “ Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord ”

Today's feast presents us with two very different aspects of the one my soul is yearning for (Is 26:9), “the most handsome of men” (Ps 44:3). He attracts us in both ways: in one form as in the other we are attracted by him and we love him, for in both of them he is the Savior of men... 

If we consider today's procession and the Passion together, we see Jesus sublime and glorious on one hand,  and humiliated and suffering on the other. For in the procession he receives royal honors and in the Passion he is mortified as a criminal. In one, glory and honor surround him; in the other, “there was no appearance that would attract us to him” (Is 53:2). Here he is the joy of man and pride of his people; there he is “scorned by everyone, despised by the people” (Ps 21:7). Here we acclaim: “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is the King of Israel who comes!”; there, we cry out that he deserves to die and we mock him for he made himself King of Israel. Here we run towards him with palms; there they give him slaps in the face and strike him on the head with a reed. Here they fill him with praises; there he is covered with insults. Here they rival to spread their cloaks on his way; there he is stripped of his clothes. Here he is received in Jerusalem as King and Savior; there he is chased away from Jerusalem as a criminal and impostor. Here he rides a donkey, rallied round with tributes; there he hangs from a cross, torn by the whippings, pierced by the wounds and abandoned by his own people... 

Lord Jesus, whether your face be glorious or humiliated, we always see wisdom shining in it. On your face shines the refulgence of eternal light (Wis 7:26). O Lord, may your light, the light of your face (Ps 4:7), always shine upon us, in sorrow as in happiness... You are joy and salvation for all, both when you ride on a donkey and when you hang from a cross.