Journey to Daily Prayer – Day 40
The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday
“At the end of all this”
Every Gospel has Jesus entering Jerusalem today, while crowds cheer and wave palms. I think we’re familiar with the story. But what’s the point of it all? On a historical level, the crowds were convinced that Jesus was David’s descendant, the King of Israel come to take up his throne and cast out the evil Roman empire. But on another level, the crowds were supposed follow Jesus all the way to the Cross. He was their king and the Cross would cast out, not only the Roman Empire, but the kingdom of darkness and the forces of darkness. But we know the story. The crowds went from cheering, to accusing; from friends, to enemies; from almost enthroning, to crucifying. Even his closest disciples abandon Jesus. Only the beloved disciple and some women stay by his side (Jn 19:25-27). So this is the real question that Palm Sunday confronts us with—at the end of all of this, will we still follow him? To follow him to the Cross may be to abandon that one thing that we love more than Jesus—to pursue holiness. To follow him may be to wear our faith on our sleeve—to be a witness. You see, we might not hate Jesus. But you know what they say—the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. So at the end of all of this, do we see ourselves standing around indifferently as Jesus passes us by? Or do we see ourselves following him all the way to the Cross?
Almighty and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.