The Courage to Witness Christ amid Joy and Crosses
This Palm Sunday, the last Sunday in Lent, we hear two impactful stories: the first, that of Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem; the second, that of His crucifixion. The Reflection of today’s readings is by Br. Magoba Ronald S.J..
Readings for Sixth Sunday of Lent-Palm Sunday
- First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7
- Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
- Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11
- Gospel: Matthew 26:14 – 27:66
In the procession reading, we are presented with the scene of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, where he rode on a donkey and was greeted by crowds of people who praised him as the Son of David and King of Israel-(Matthew 21:1-11). In the first reading, Prophet Isaiah( 50:4-7) speaks of a servant of God who is a skilled teacher and obedient to God’s will even in the face of persecution and suffering he trusts in God’s protection and ultimately prevails over his oppressors. The second reading (Philippians 2:6-11:) describes the selfless humility of Jesus Christ, who despite being divine, chose to become human and submit to a humiliating death on the cross. However, because of his death, God exalted him and gave him a name above all others, that every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The gospel (Matthew 26:14 – 27:66) on the other hand describes the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and death. It points out the betrayal by Judas Iscariot, his arrest and trial before the high priest, his denial by peter, his sentencing by Pontius Pirate, his crucifixion, his death, and burial in a tomb.
In the readings, we see the very people who praised Jesus and hailed him as the son of David and king of Israel during his triumphal entry into Jerusalem conspiring, betraying him, testifying against him at trial, and denying any sort of association with him. Jesus Christ being a true servant of God kept his cool; he did not retaliate but rather remained faithful and obedient to God his heavenly father. I suppose most of us know how the ending this passion account! God exalted him and gave him a name above all others, that every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is indeed the lord and savior of humanity.
As youths, we can easily identify with the men and women who praised, hailed, and walked side by side with Jesus Christ during his triumphal entry to Jerusalem. Likewise, there are times when our actions and omissions make us betray and deny Christ in our lives. Amid our joys and sorrows may we find solace and strength in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Let us continue to seek the intercession of Mary our mother who witnessed Jesus Christ even at the foot of the cross. Amen.
By, Br. Magoba Ronald S.J.,
Executive Director saint Joseph Development Programmes, Kangemi.