One of the characters that we don’t like to be compared with is Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve but who betrayed the Lord. Sadly, if we look at our own selves, there have been many times we’ve also committed betrayal through the sins and offenses we commit. Every time we offend the Lord, when we commit wrongdoing, there is betrayal, there is treachery.
In today’s readings we are treated to a rundown of the Palm Sunday (Lk. 19: 28-40) and up to the events leading to the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ. A mix of emotions fill the readings, starting with the Procession of the Palms. In this triumphant entry into Jerusalem, it is described that prior to the event, Jesus sent two of His disciples into the village to find a colt tethered “on which no one has ever sat, to untie it and bring it here.” The power of His word was illustrated further when even the owners of the colt didn’t stop them when the disciples told them, “The Master has need of it.”
He rode along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road; and now
as He was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole
multitude of His disciples
began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen. They proclaimed: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.”
In those days the Jews were expecting Jesus to liberate them from the oppression of the Romans, thus their eagerness to proclaim the Lord as King.
Then the Gospel reading (Lk. 22: 14-23: 56) brings us into the Upper Room where the Lord is commemorating the Passover with His disciples, the Master saying an emotional goodbye to them,
“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for, I tell you, I shall not eat it again until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
It was during these moments that Jesus tells them (and us) about true discipleship. Despite being beaten, scourged, crucified and dying on the Cross, Jesus did not condemn but prays for and forgives those who have rejected Him. We are participants in this events because by Jesus’ Passion and Death He saved us from the chains of sin and death. Thus, we are being invited to “repent” from our sins, “renew” our commitment to the Lord, and “revitalize” our faith by sharing in the proclamation of the Kingdom, not only by sharing His Word, but by how we live the Gospel message. It is not meant to be seen, but rather to be lived!
The Lord didn’t use strength and might but rather showed that suffering and dying a grossly painful death is the way to save His people from the oppression of the evil one. He taught us that the best way to lead is to serve.
Let us therefore pray for the humility, the courage and the strength to repent from our sins, renew our commitment, and revitalize our faith in God.
“Christ became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. because of this, God greatly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.” (Phil. 2: 8-9)