Christ’s Triumphant Entry into the Passion (Fr. Kachy)
The duo “catchup” of Palm Sunday is the celebration of Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem with the commemoration of the first part of the Paschal Mystery – the Passion and death of our Lord. The commemoration of the Passion is joined with the celebration of His triumphant entry into Jerusalem because the latter is not merely a gesture of hospitality to Jesus but a foreshadowing celebration of Christ’s victory over suffering and death; victory over sin and the forces of darkness. The syndicate to end the story of the man called Jesus turned out to be the beginning of the biggest story ever told in human history.
The amount of physical suffering, verbal abuse and disrespect that Jesus underwent during his Passion are shocking. The Seven sufferings of Jesus Christ in his Passion include:
- The agony in the Garden of Olives
And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Lk 22:44)
- Because of feeling already the pain of suffering and death in advance – “let the cup pass…”
- Because of pain of betrayal by a friend
- Because of loneliness and lack of consolation – disciples are tired and sleepy
- Because the world is not yet ready to turn away from sin
- Unjust condemnation
- The scourging
- The cruelcoronation parody – slapping, mocking & spitting,
- Carrying a heavy cross and walking up the mountain
“It was our infirmities he bore, our sufferings he endured … he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins … the Lord laid upon him the guilt of us all (Isaiah 53: 4-6).”
- As Jesus Christ walked to His crucifixion, He carried on His shoulders not only a cross but also the weight of us all.
- Nailing him on the cross
- Severe torture, pain and suffocation on the cross
- Hanging Him for hours to death alongside with humiliations and mockery.
The Passion of Jesus moves us because it is we who have inflicted this suffering on him. Looking at the Passion of Jesus we see so many events taking a new meaning for us. Once we realize that it was our sins that crucified Jesus we can see these different characters in the Passion representing our sins which caused Jesus to die.
When we are hurt by things in our own life and by what we see happening in the world around us and need answers, healing and reassurance it is then than we need to meditate on the Passion of Jesus and find the answers there. In fact, in the accounts of the Passion there were several occurrences of healing and restoration that are recorded: Jesus healed the ear of the high priest’s servant which was chopped off during the fray in Gethsemane (Luke 22:51); Barabbas is set free; the enmity between Herod and Pilate was healed; the repentant thief is forgiven (Luke 23:12); and when Peter denied Jesus, his meaningful look on Peter’s face brought his to his senses he shade tears of penance. Indeed “through his wounds we are healed,” (Isa 53:5). During the week ahead as we meditate on the Passion of Jesus, let it become a source of healing for us also.
This week we are beginning the Holy Week. Try to keep it as a Holy Week, attending the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday and the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection during the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night. Let us remember the love of the Lord for us which caused him to suffer for our sins and let us turn to the Lord in love. May our meditation on Jesus’ Passion this week encourage us to renew our lives with Jesus and leave sin behind to rise with his new life at Easter.