Holy Week: a mere seven days the changed the world and remains at the heart and soul of what all Christians hold so sacred and dear.
Palm Sunday is a celebration, a joyous occasion. Jesus is home to Jerusalem and everyone gathers to catch a glimpse of this carpenter’s son, this miracle worker. Capes and palm branches are thrown to the ground in a show of respect and reverence. Jesus rides into town upon a donkey in a show of humility. This sight certainly made people think. People questioned is this truly “the one” who is to be our leader? There is no chariot or team of stallions leading him in. What kind of king is He? Doubt enters their minds. The enthusiasm and exuberance begins to wane.
The joyfulness turns to bitterness and pain. Agony and sorrow defeat and wipe away any remnant of happiness. His closest friends abandon and deny Him. Seven days after Jesus’ triumphant entry in to the city, He undergoes a most Passionate of times and ultimately surrenders, giving over His body to human death.
How can a people change their attitude so quickly? What was it that changed their feelings? Who was it that altered their thinking? What polluted their hearts? What infected their minds? Was it mere human folly, ignorance or fear? Did the people want some one with more strength, more authority, some one much more outspoken and defiant? Or was it simply Scripture being fulfilled?
My sisters and brothers, this week is truly a celebration for in this week we celebrate our salvation. It is in the death of Jesus that we are born to eternal life. His sacrifice brings us the joys of Paradise, for us and for all God’s people.
Let us in earnest prayer be mindful of the immense gifts that we receive. Let us be ever aware that Jesus, our most Holy Redeemer, though he died in human terms, never left us, never abandoned us and never leaves our side. Jesus remains our closest and most loving friend. Is this not reason for celebration? Is this not a cause for rejoicing?
My prayers and blessings are with each and every one of my St. Nicholas community members: I pray that we lay bear our hearts to feel something of Jesus’ suffering. I pray our minds are open to comprehend the totality of this historical encounter, when heaven and earth co-mingled is such a miraculous manner in order to afford us the gift of a life more glorious.
Celebrate and let us keep our eyes fixed on the prize that awaits us.
Let us all celebrate a most blessed and joyful Holy Week.
Let us all celebrate a most blessed and joyful Easter.
God keep, strengthen and sustain us, one and all.