Palms fascinate. Their unique form gives elegance to the landscape. Aside from having large, compound and beautiful leaves, many palms provide food and other important products. This Sunday, also called Palm Sunday, marks the start of the Holy Week. The feast commemorates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four Gospels. This calls for deep reflection and thought on the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. We should spend time with Him in the Blessed Sacrament during this Holy Week and minimize the practice of using these days for fun and leisure.
Let us try to ponder on the depth of God’s love for us such that He gave “his only Son, that whoever believes in him may not die but may have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16). As a response, let us act on this love so that we may reflect Jesus to others. For example, we should realize that we must meet the needs of the poor; that we have no right to hoard money and not to share; that we can’t go out to buy unnecessary things when the man next door is barely able to survive. These are radical ways of living the Gospel but indeed this is the call of Jesus. So much so that the elders and chief priests couldn’t accept what the Lord taught, that they are now planning to kill Jesus (Jn. 11:53). There’s even the account in the Gospel wherein some even “…pick up rocks to throw at Jesus (Jn. 8:59). In those times, death by stoning (as described by Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB), is one of the cruelest means of killing a person.
This Holy Week, the “sinless Lamb of God” chose to die like the original Passover lamb killed in Egypt more than 1,400 years earlier, so that now His blood would save the world from the slavery of Satan. Jesus experienced betrayal, humiliation, torture and yet he accepted it freely to bring us all back to God, in forgiveness and love:
“Though he was in the form of God, he did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather he emptied himself and took the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men. He was known to be of human estate, and it was thus that he humbled himself, obediently accepting even death, death on a cross! Because of this, God highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name above every other name, so that at Jesus’ name every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father: JESUS CHRIST Is LORD!”
Phil. 2: 6-11
As the Holy Week unfolds, let us take the time to confess our sins and our unfaithfulness to Him. Let us offer prayers for our country, the Holy Mother Church and our fellowmen.