Homily Palm Sunday Year A Jesus who suffered is Lord

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Homily Palm Sunday Year A

Reading 1: This reading brings us immediately to the Passion of Jesus. Without rebellion or defense, the Suffering Servant of God (an image of Jesus) gives himself freely to his torturers for our sake. He gave his back to be scourged, his face to be slapped and spat on. All the while he trusted himself into the hands of the Father.

God prepared the people through the prophet for the future upcoming suffering of his Son. If they had been attentive and had been truly looking for the Messiah God was sending them, rather than the one they wanted, they may have recognized him in the process. But even as Jesus fulfills this and other prophesies in his suffering and death, they still did not make the connection.

Gospel: The reading takes us through the Passion and death of Jesus, who died for our sake. He gave himself freely to the will of the Father, as he embraced the emptying process begun at the Incarnation. He became man to lay down his life, so that we may have eternal life. He became by choice the sacrifice of expiation for the sins of all.

In the Gospel narrative is a reflection of each of us. We have been like Judas betraying him for various sinful pleasures and choices. We have been like Peter, professing our commitment but, when pushed, denying him by our silence. We are like the disciples, fearful for our own safety rather than faithfulness to Jesus.

We are like the crowds, who acclaimed him King on Palm Sunday and then demanded his death because of our sins. We are like the women, who weep for him and who stand under the cross with Mary and John. We are like Pilate, who is willing to sacrifice another to protect ourselves. We are like the good thief, who came to recognize the truth of Jesus’ identity.

We were not spectators but participants in the suffering and death of Jesus. We participated through our sins. Jesus died to save us and restore us as sons and daughters of the Father.

Reading 2: The reading gives us an overall view of Jesus’ life, from before the Incarnation, to his birth, to his commitment to do the will of the Father, even to the death on the cross, his resurrection and ascension and ultimately his exultation at the right hand of the Father.

While the people on Palm Sunday acclaimed him King, Messiah and prophet, the Father proclaims that Jesus Christ is Lord and God to whom every tongue proclaims and knees bow.

The question is to what extent is Jesus our personal Lord and Savior? To what extent does he rule our life? We can acclaim him externally like the crowd on Palm Sunday, but the real acclamation comes from the heart and our way of life.

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