Palm Sunday

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Palm Sunday marks the beginning of holy week. It is Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem marked by a festive crowd of followers, yet this festivity turns to the passion of Christ and his brutal crucifixion  If on one hand the contradiction of this day is that its joyfulness is followed by the crucifixion; another contradiction is that the joy of palm Sunday pales in comparison to the joy after the crucifixion that is the Easter resurrection. In this entry into Jerusalem all those Christ has gathered together proclaim him Lord. In his triumph the Christ rides into the city not on a horse, but a donkey; the horse the symbol of the mighty warrior and the donkey as the symbol of peace. In the setting there are the crowds cheering on Jesus, there are the Jewish officials trying to silence these revelers, and there are the Roman officials who will try to squash this rebellion. With three groups of people there are three choices: do we follow Christ at the risk of upsetting our contemporaries? Do we dilute the Gospel message to make it appealing to societies norms? Do we react against it, or do we declare Christ as Lord? Just as the people present for this first palm Sunday had a choice in how they received Christ, we also have that choice. We too have the choice how we react to the contemporaries of our day in relation to Christ.Through this holy week that is the way of the cross, we too can examine every event in how it affects our lives and  how we react to each situation in contemporary terms. On this palm Sunday are we willing to declare Lord a man on a donkey while surrounded by solders on horses? Will we proclaim loudly Jesus as Lord, when those in power tell us to do otherwise? Are we willing to admit we will stumble like Peter? Do we understand where the Joy came from when those people exalted “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest” Where are we in that crowd?

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