2nd APRIL 2023

Palm Sunday. What is Palm Sunday? | by Saleena Sanjeeva | Medium



Mass: Is 50: 4-7;   Ps 22:8-9,17-20,23-24;   Phil 2:6-11;    Mt 26:14–27:66


(Procession: Mt 21: 1-11)



On Palm Sunday, Jesus has reached the edge of Jerusalem and must face his last meal with his friends, betrayal, trial, punishment, and finally death. So, how is he welcomed into the city? With joy, celebration, and anticipation. How ironic it is that some people who welcome Jesus as King would be among those who shout Jesus to his death.

Jesus instructs two unnamed disciplines to go into the village ahead and look for a colt. Usually, when disciples do something significant in the Gospels, they are mentioned by name. Apparently finding an animal for Jesus to ride was of little importance. Little did these two disciples know that their task was critical to the Palm Sunday event. They are to retrieve a donkey, which is perhaps the most overlooked character in the story. This donkey was born for Jesus’ wonderful work. It had not been used or ridden by anyone else. This donkey was tied up so that it could not wander away or be taken by someone else. It was waiting for Jesus to climb on to ride.

The donkey in the gospel was created for a purpose and was meant for Jesus. It was tied; it needed to be untied. We are often tied down by many things – guilt, anxiety, and concern. Some of us are tied down with the need to forgive, but we cannot bring ourselves to do it. Others are tied down with obsessions or addictions. We may be tied down to our smartphones and tablets, and be unable to put those devices down. Some need to let go and not be afraid to show love, peace, faith, joy, or the Gospel to others.

As Christians, we need to be untied from what weighs us down. Palm Sunday is not just a celebration of Christ as King, but a celebration of Jesus as our liberator from dependencies and afflictions. We need to be free to experience Jesus in our lives. We are meant to ride with Jesus: to follow him on his journey to Jerusalem, the Holy City, the city where God dwells. We were created with a purpose: to love God and love each other. When we are untied, we can live a life of faith free from the pressure of trying to hold things up. When we are free, we can praise God without any hindrance. In Jesus Christ, all are free men and women. Because through His death and Resurrection, all of us are freed from our state of sin.

We cannot fully commit to God when we are tied. We must be released. We must surrender our burdens and our weights to God, much like the owner who surrendered his donkey to the two disciples. By surrendering our own burdens, we can praise and worship God freely. We can praise him just like those who praised Jesus with palms and coats, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest”

Palm Sunday frees us to experience Holy Week in a way that does not hold us from truly singing loud “Hosannas” and “Alleluias” on Easter morning. Let us be untied to share in the Palm Sunday event so that we may be united with the One who was tied on a cross to be our saviour.

As the Apostle Paul tells us: ‘God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong (1 Cor 1:27), to fulfil his great plans and purposes for the world! Remember, a donkey carried a poor, pregnant mother named Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem. (Lk 2:4-7). This gentle beast of burden carried the Saviour of the World, and connected Him with the common people. Jesus embraced the poor, weak and oppressed during his time on earth. Christ uses the donkey to show his love and compassion (Lk 10:33-34). The donkey (Zech 9:9-10) shows a king who would be “righteous and having salvation, gentle.” Rather than riding to conquer, this king would enter in peace.

If you think that you are useless, that you have nothing much to offer, that everybody else dismisses you, that you actually don’t even think much of yourself …be encouraged! You may very well be just the person God is looking for right now!


Response: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

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