This Sunday, called Palm Sunday is the first day of the Holy Week. In the Gospel reading today, St. Luke gives us a glimpse of the Lord’s Passion. In his letter to the Philippians, St. Paul clarifies the divinity of Jesus right from the start. Unlike us, he wasn’t created in the image and likeness of God, because He is God (Phil. 2: 6). However, in his humility, he ‘emptied’ himself, took human form, and gave up heaven to be with us. He accepted the Father’s will, shared our pain, hunger, frustration, and humbled himself even to death on the cross. From being in the company of the Almighty and the endless praising of the Angels, Jesus just relied on prayer to connect to the Father. Aside from that, he went the extra mile: he came in the form of a slave and not as a powerful ruler. He came from a poor family, from the small village of Nazareth, and labored as a lowly carpenter in order to sustain himself. Truly unnecessary, but Jesus did it for us all.
Jesus gave up everything up there in heaven to get to earth, so that we from this earth will be redeemed and get the chance to go to heaven. He was hated by the chief priests and elders in order for us to learn compassion and understanding. He was condemned to death so that we could be saved. He was crucified so that we may have eternal life.
He ‘emptied’ himself for us. He paid for our sins and shortcomings.
The message of Palm Sunday is for us to follow Jesus’ example. He is asking us to choose service instead of being served. He is asking us to humble ourselves, safeguard Holy Mother Church, and care for the hungry, the poor, the needy, the oppressed and the marginalized in our society.
As we meditate on the unfolding events of Holy Week, may we make the statement of faith that Jesus, in his obedient suffering and dying, revealed to us as God’s Son and brought to fulfillment the Kingdom of God. May we learn to empty ourselves for others, so that we will fill our emptiness with His grace.