Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

“Everyone loves a parade” – they certainly draw our attention. Children and dogs might attach themselves, an assortment of odd hangers-on bringing up the rear, people in the streets straining to find out what the parade’s about. Parades can get out of hand, they can draw elements the organizers do not welcome. Witness the controversies around St. Patrick’s Day parades of recent years.  Jesus is at the head of this parade into Jerusalem, a king entering the Royal City – on a donkey!.

This particular parade is a triumphal entry of the itinerant preacher and healer and prophetic witness against the abuses of the religious establishment, with His followers. Some political zealots attach themselves to this parade. Everyone is aware that the “Son of David” has come, and is entering the City of David, and everyone who would welcome the change joins the parade.

But Jesus knows He is leading a very different sort of parade, leading a march through the corridors of worldly power that will pass through the depths of human injustice and cruelty, through unbearable suffering and death – and will emerge on the other side of death, after the silence of the tomb. He is initiating His followers into realities of which they cannot dream. And the Church, today, invites us to begin this final ascent on the hill of Jerusalem that will summit on Calvary – planting that flag which will await the sunrise of Easter.

April 13th, 2014