Saturday, March 31, 2012

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord: Today Jesus accepted being King

In today’s liturgy, we see that our Lord "IHS", Iesus Homini Salvatori (Jesus, Man and Savior), didn't accept the acclamation of the multitudes that pretended to make Him king right after seeing the miracles that He performed (Jn 6, 15). He didn't want the crown of a king when everyone proclaimed, "He does everything well" (Mk 7, 37). He went to the mountain many times and found refuge through prayerful intimacy with His Father (Mt 14, 23). In all of these situations, where He could have easily and naturally proclaimed Himself son of David and successor to the throne that freed Israel, Jesus kept silent. He hid Himself and prayed in private; He knew how false the acclamations were.
There was one day that He accepted the applause and didn't escape from the multitudes. One day Jesus accepted His being King and in doing so He sealed His destiny, changed history and opened a future for the whole universe; all with the humble gesture that today we contemplate.
Let's look at what is happening: Jesus, the Nazarene, the King meek and humble is entering the city of David guarded by a humble court.
Why does our Lord now accept what He rejected before? Why, now, does He want to go along with the enthusiasm of the multitude? The only answer is, because He knows what is in store for Him afterwards. He knows that the same people will say something completely different in a matter of hours. We, too, do that when we let our feelings rule our decisions.
Jesus knew that those in power where by now united against Him. He also knew the love of His disciples was weak even though they swore that their love was unconditional. Jesus knew that becoming a king in that situation would awaken the passion, hatred and vengeance of the leaders against Him. We see, more than a decision to gain honor, that it was an act of mercy; a manifestation of His immense love.
The Triduum is near.
This Sunday introduces the celebration of the deepest and most beautiful mysteries of our faith; it is like a window from which we can see the great news that the Triduum will bring us. That is why the Church, right after inviting us to sing the acclamations to the Messiah and true King, also invites us in the same context to what has exactly happened so that our ears will get used to the music; the music dramatizes the love of The Passion of Our Lord.
It is good to hear the history of The Passion so that we can understand it was One specific Person who suffered and One Person who overcame death. It was One Person who carried our infirmities and guilt and One Person who paid the price on the Cross. It was One Person who defeated the enemy, One who defeated death, One who loved to the extreme, One who gave us forgiveness, peace, grace and a life that never ends. One Person, Jesus Christ, the Son of The Living God.
My brothers and sisters let us look with eyes of gratitude and listen with ears of disciples to the beautiful testimony of the Gospel. You will not find anything as beautiful in any writings on earth. There is nothing that can be compared to the great forgiveness that comes down like a cascade from the Cross, as a powerful flood, not of vengeance and punishment, but one of mercy and grace.
Only if we close our eyes to the vanities of this world, will we realize there is nothing as helpful, hopeful and engaging as The Redemption, which gives us access to the glory of our destiny in heaven.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks be to God, who comes to save us from the flood of our sins!

    "He reached from on high, he took me, he drew me out of mighty waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy... for they were too mighty for me... he delivered me, because he delighted in me..."
    "Set me as a seal upon your heart... for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave...Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it..." (2 Sam. 22:17-18, 20; Songs 8:6-7)