By: Olivia Orfanello
The Purpose of Palm Sunday lies in the people’s recognition of Jesus as the Messiah- the true Son of God. Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday. The gospel begins when Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. This speaks to His true sense of humility amongst the recognition of His importance. As He rode into Jerusalem, the crowds placed palms in His path, saying, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel,” acknowledging Jesus as King (this is why we receive them at mass on Palm Sunday). Following Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem is The Passover meal, which marks the beginning of the Passion of Christ. During the Passover, Jesus introduces the Eucharist. He addresses here that the bread and wine truly are His body and his blood.
The gospel highlights the diverse crowd of people that have come to witness the Son of God. Everyone is there from His disciples, those who have betrayed Him- saints and sinners. Where do you stand among the people welcoming Him into Jerusalem, the same ones who condemned Him to death and shouted to release Barabbas? Who are you in the presence of our Lord? Who are you in the presence of your friends who aren’t committed to their faith? We’ve all been there. I know I have. The doubt has lingered in not knowing where I fall or where I am in my relationship with Christ. The truth is, our relationships with Christ are embodied by each person in the crowd in some form or fashion, they represent both our sinful and faithful doings. We’ve praised and welcomed Him, begged for help, and sinned against Him. When we don’t get the instant gratification of receiving what we desire, we turn our backs on Him, like those who welcomed Him as Messiah. Once our mistake is realized, we should pray and accept His will, and we will receive forgiveness through His love and grace.
This is the moment when Jesus fulfills the will of God, His preordained death. This is it. The ultimate sacrifice. The moment when Jesus will feel all the ramifications of our sin in one single moment. I am forced to ask myself what it means to make the statement of faith that Jesus is making in his obedient suffering as He reveals Himself as the Son of God.
Use this time to meditate on the passion and on what is to come, and ask yourself, where did I stand before this Lenten season? How have my resolutions impacted my relationship with Christ? Am I fulfilling the will of God? Am I committed to my faith as I should be?