RE-LIVING THE POWER OF THE PASSION HOMILY FOR THE PALM SUNDAY (YEAR B) Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

 

PASSION 2

As a child, one of the scariest places I dreaded to go with my parents when I become ill was the hospital. The phobia was not because of the smell of different kinds of medications nor the morgue which most children fear, but the injections which the nurses administered with long needles that go right into the buttocks to deposit the curative liquids. During those times, my parents would encourage me to go with them to the hospital and assure me that there might be no injection (but there would always be) and if there happens to be any, it won’t hurt (but they always hurt).

In my little mind, I thought my parents were heartless and wicked for allowing me to go through such pains. But I was wrong; they were showing their love and care for me because the pain of the injections would bring the gain of good health. Maybe if they spared the pain of the needles, I could have died from some complications; may God bless my mum and rest the soul of my dad.

Today, we celebrate the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. The purpose of the entrance was for our Lord to suffer the mockery of the devil, the brutality of men and even the abandonment of his heavenly Father as St. Paul would tell us, that God did not spare his son but offered him up for us all (Romans 8:32). Our Lord Jesus Christ confirmed this on the cross when he exclaimed, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46).

The triumphant entry into Jerusalem is an ironical narrative with the depth of meanings. “Why did our Lord Jesus make that entry a carnival-like parade; why did he need a donkey and a colt (urgently) at the same time; why all the “noise” about the Son of David and why the Hosanna?”

Our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem today was not the first time, but it was at a special time and of a different kind; triumphant. Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego joyfully marched into the heart of fire; our Lord joyfully entered the city at the hour close to his suffering and death. He entered triumphantly to disclose the joyful and triumphant end of his journey; he was celebrating the end from the beginning as God knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).

Jesus Christ, our Lord, was looking at the value and purpose of the journey which would be the triumph over sin and death (1 Cor. 15:53-55; Col.2:15). In life, we often face various kinds of challenging situations and most times we cry and break our heads over what is prevailing in our lives, and we fail to look beyond the present to see what lies ahead of us. The situations we face in our lives should not define us. The passion and death could not define our Lord Jesus Christ because there would be a rising from the dead.

The donkey and the colt represent our sinful souls tied to the tree of sin which reminds us of the tree at the middle of the garden in the book of Genesis where the first sin of disobedience was committed (Gen.3:3). The donkey and colt represent all of us, Adam and Eve, male and female, old and young, we have all sinned, and our Lord is going to suffer and die for us, and it is fitting that we should go with him triumphantly into the Jerusalem to celebrate our freedom in advance.

Hosanna is an Aramaic word which could translate as praise or adoration. It is however not addressed to just anyone but to someone who could deliver or save. That is why they had to link it to “Son of David” which means messiah and messiah means savior. That was why the Blind Bartimaeus could cry and say, “Son of David have mercy on me” (Mark 10:48), in other words, he said. “savior, have mercy on me.”

Today, the door of the Holy week is open for us to march with the Lord to his suffering and death as we look forward to the resurrection. I wouldn’t know what your disposition has been since the beginning of Lent. Would you say, “yes it has been a great experience for me” or would you have regrets?

These few days could make a significant change in your life. The week will become as holy as you make it be. Have a great Palm Sunday and a rewarding Holy Week.

Fr. Bonnie.

 

 

 

One Comment on “RE-LIVING THE POWER OF THE PASSION HOMILY FOR THE PALM SUNDAY (YEAR B) Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

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