April 4, 2009

Palm Sunday

The rubrics for Passion Sunday call for a brevis homilia if it seems opportune. So I don't bother to go through my usual reflection and composition routine this week.

Bracketing off the circus of "palm acquisition," it's actually a beautiful observance. To me it's a lot like Ash Wednesday in the sense that it embodies the ironies that are at the heart of Christianity. We cheer the arrival of the King and prepare a path for him. But we know that this is a King who will reign from the throne of the Cross as a tortured criminal, unable to even move his hands and feet, much less compel anyone to obey him. Unlike other ancient Near Eastern kings who were anointed on their heads by high priests to rule their people with power and strength, this is the King who was anointed on his feet by a sinner and whose power will be manifest in his placing himself below us as our servant.

To say any more than that today would be a spoiler for my Holy Thursday homily. It will be my first time preaching that one!


for narnia said...

hi Fr. C! thanks for your thoughts and reflection on Palm Sunday and for sharing your reason fornot giving a "usual reflection and compositio." i agree that Palm Sunday is a lot like Ash Wednesday for the same reasons you mention. i do have a little reflection on the readings and Palm Sunday that i'll share. what the woman in the gospel did for Jesus really speaks volumes. when she annointed Jesus with a very expensive perfume (even though Jesus' diciples felt it wasteful and extravagent- because they had yet to grasp the extravagance of his sacrifice for them), i feel that somehow she knew what Jesus was about to go through and why he was going through with it-and she wanted to honor him in the highest way possible by pouring that perfume(which was probably her most precious possession) on him as her act of worship and thanksgiving. consider what Jesus gave up when he became a man: the glory of heaven, the worship of angels, his place at God's right hand. consider, too, what he endured as he taught and ministered: the skepticism of religious leaders, the suspicion of the Romans, the unbelief of his followers, sleepless nights praying, endless days preaching and healing. consider his suffering in the passion: rejection by his people, the thorns, the scourging, the agonizing pain and thirst. He did it for US! He did it so we could be forgiven and welcomed into heaven. so, like the woman in the gospel of this Palm Sunday, we can offer Jesus one of our most precious gifts- our hearts- hearts that can show small acts of love for others and love for God. hsppy Palm Sunday! PEACE! ~tara t~

for narnia said...

p.s. looking forward to your Holy Thursday homily, Fr. C! i'm sure it will be an inspiration, as your homilies always are! PEACE!
~tara t~

Brother Charles said...

Thanks, Tara, for your encouragement! See you soon.