Saturday, March 28, 2015
Reflection on Palm Sunday 2015
Tomorrow Sunday 29 March is Palm Sunday. It is the day when Christians throughout the world commemorate Jesus's triumphal entry into Jerusalem. According to the Gospels Jesus rode a donkey into the city. Some say an ass, others a colt and the scene has been depicted in hundreds of illustrations since that time. The donkey may have been a representative of an animal of peace as opposed to a horse which was seen as an animal of war. It is written that those in the path of Jesus laid garments and branches in the path of the procession. John in his Gospel, specifies fronds of palm which I would think of as being right given the part of the world in which this took place. The palm branch in ancient times was not only a symbol of triumph but that of goodness. In the Roman Catholic Church the feast of Palm Sunday coincides with Passion Sunday which is what it was called when I was growing up.
Palm Sunday precedes Holy Week. Its significance is that is shows how people can be. Jesus was given this grand welcome into Jerusalem and within days was the target of hostility by a few who were against him and succeeded in winning because of their trumped up charges. If we are to learn a lesson from this it is about how circumstances can change so very quickly.
The people as we have read, expected the Messiah to come in great glory - with power as a king but he came in very humble way. People didn't understand. Even though they must have heard about him and known about him, they didn't understand the simplicity and the humility of Jesus.
As we go into Palm Sunday and then Holy Week, it's a time for those of us who believe, to reflect if we haven't already done so during the Lenten season, on how we live our lives and where we can improve. Not one of us is perfect and we can all improve in some way or other - our behaviour, our outlooks, the way we treat others, our selfishness and a host of other things that I am sure, if we dig deep and don't flinch, we can find!